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.
UNCDF is currently implementing the CleanStart programme in collaboration with the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, the Development Bank of Ethiopia and UNDP/GEF’s Promoting Sustainable Rural Energy Technologies (RETs) for Household and Productive Uses projects.
UNCDF is in the process of starting up the Programme for Inclusive and Rural Finance (PIRUF). The PIRUF aims to support the implementation of the Government of Ethiopia’s Financial Inclusive Strategy, and to expand access to financial products and services for underserved and underbanked women, youth, rural households and SMEs.
From 2010 to 2015, UNCDF piloted YouthStart in partnership with Mastercard Foundation with the objective to increase access to integrated financial services for youth aged 12-24. YouthStart has provided technical and financial assistance to 10 financial institutions in 8 Sub-Saharan countries. By the end of the Programme (2015), YouthStart tripled its targets reaching more than 635,000 youth with financial and non-financial services.