UNCDF has been present in Bangladesh since 1982.
Over the past three decades, UNCDF has supported Bangladesh by focusing grant financing initially on local agriculture, and then strengthening decentralization and local service delivery.
Today, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.
In 2016 through Financial Inclusion Practice, UNCDF initiated Shaping Inclusive Finance Transformations (SHIFT) programme, in collaboration with the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), to accelerate financial inclusion and women’s economic participation in the region.
Through Local Development Finance Practice, UNCDF recently expanded its Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility (LoCAL) programme, which will enable 72 local grassroots governments, in vulnerable regions of the country, to reduce their climate change vulnerability through planning and financing climate resilient infrastructure. Additionally, UNCDF’s Inclusive Economic Local Development (IELD) programme supports governments and the private sector at the local level to design, plan, implement and sustain local, public and private investments with a particular emphasis on unlocking domestic capital for women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship. Bangladesh’s rapid urbanization has incentivized UNCDF to pilot its Municipal Investment Financing (MIF) programme and to develop financing instruments, such as Public Private Partnerships and Municipal Bonds, that diversify and aggregate municipalities’ financial base beyond annual grants provided by the central government.