UNCDF has been present in Ethiopia since 1982, executing local development and financial inclusion programmes to provide financial services and endorse economic activities at the local level.
Today, UNCDF offers catalytic finance models that unlock public and private resources in “last mile” environments, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.
Through UNCDF's Least Developed Country Investment Platform (LDC-IP), we are working on capitalizing the "missing middle" for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), financial service providers and local infrastructure projects. The LDC-IP's main vehicle for support in Ethiopia is the BRIDGE Facility, UNCDF's on-balance sheet portfolio. As of 2020, investments in Ethiopia via the BRIDGE Facility portfolio accounted for 7% of the total portfolio.
UNCDF’s Inclusive Digital Economies Clean Energy portfolio commenced a credit risk guarantee facility in Ethiopia; in partnership with UNDP, the Development Bank of Ethiopia, and the Ministry of Water and Energy of Ethiopia. The total sale of clean energy technologies since the start of the credit risk facility has exceeded 500,00 products, which includes clean cooking technologies and solar energy products.
Additionally, in the Inclusive Digital Economies area, UNCDF is supporting Ethiopia through an initiative with the EU and the Organization of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States to unlock the potential of digital finance The aim of this initiative is to support key policy reforms for digital transformation and create digital financial services tailored to the needs of women and youth, including innovative savings and credit products. Through UNCDF's Migrants and Remittances programme, we have partnered with Lion International Bank to improve remittance delivery through digital wallets while linking finance flows to utility payments. Finally, through UNCDF's Policy Accelerator, we are working with the National Bank of Ethiopia on reforming the legal and regulatory landscape to accelerate financial inclusion.