to invest in infrastructure and human development to build institutions, establish market systems, support entrepreneurship, harness the potential of youth and achieve basic standards of living for all, and leave no one behind.
UNCDF expands its role as the United Nations flagship catalytic financing entity for the LDCs to include strengthening financing mechanisms and systems for structural transformation.
UNCDF combines its Sustainable Development Goal financing capabilities, instruments and sector expertise with the wider development and operational capacities of the United Nations development system to deliver more comprehensive and impactful support for the LDCs.
UNCDF continues to build partnerships with private and public actors to achieve greater results and development impact and unlock additional resources.
UNCDF works to invest and catalyse capital to support these countries in achieving the sustainable growth and inclusiveness envisioned by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Doha programme of action for the least developed countries, 2022–2031, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and the Paris Agreement.
A plan of action for people, planet and prosperity.Learn More
A new generation of commitments between the LDCs and their development partners.Learn More
A global financing agenda to contribute to solving social, environmental, and economic challenges.Learn More
A global agreement that covers climate change mitigation, adaptation, and financeLearn More
by fulfilling its overall financing mandate with capital deployment, financial advisory services and capital catalysation.
The UNCDF vision is that LDCs are able to access and leverage the development impact of capital to enable sustainable and inclusive economic growth and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Local Transformative Finance and the SDGs
They create substantial development dividends for food security, women’s economic empowerment, renewable clean energy, climate resilience, and local economic development. This helps to increase local fiscal space, capital formation and, most significantly, output per capita, through the investments themselves and their multiplier effect.
Investment in small but transformational infrastructure projects at the local level
Secondary cities, expanding peri-urban areas, and rural regions need to have their complete Investment needs met.
This accelerates transformative growth and retains value within local economies, avoiding patterns of high growth and low poverty reduction.
can empower secondary cities, towns, and rural areas to contribute in important ways to national social and economic development goals.
This calls for an approach that mobilizes public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, for investment in resilient local economies and societies.
These models support the development of a pipeline of bankable projects.
This demonstrates private and public investors how local infrastructure and essential services can generate financial and social returns. It helps bring additional resources to local productive sectors—such as pension funds and bank liquidity.
Financial Inclusion and the SDGs
Digital innovations in the areas of energy, agriculture, health, education, and mobility are already transforming how people access and use a range of services, often riding on the digital finance rails. It offers new opportunities to transform the lives of marginalized populations, particularly women, youth, migrants, refugees/FDPs, MSMEs, disabled, and people living in rural areas.
Financial Inclusion creates more stable financial systems and economies, mobilizes domestic resources through national savings and helps to boost government revenue.
such as banks, cooperatives, microfinance institutions, money transfer companies, and mobile network operators so that these entities can extend the reach of financial markets to areas that they normally would not reach.
Individuals, particularly the unbanked and underbanked, as well as micro, small, and medium enterprises have access to a variety of financial products, including savings, credit, insurance, payments, and remittances, at prices that are affordable and on a basis that is ethical and sustainable.
Women are the focus of UNCDF's efforts, and access to savings leads to positive economic outcomes for women, such as increased productivity and profits, as well as increased investment in the women-owned businesses they run. Women who have savings are less likely to liquidate assets to pay for unanticipated medical expenses; their incomes are more stable during times of economic uncertainty; and they have a greater degree of control over the funds available to them.
UNCDF and the International Development Agenda
UNCDF’s finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, are strongly relevant to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the SDGs. Both stress that international public finance remains central to achieving the SDGs.
ODA makes up more than two thirds of external finance for LDCs. LDCs can face major constraints in mobilizing other resources for development and in channeling them into social and economic infrastructure and productive investments. Still, there is a need for multiple sources of finance, especially from the private sector, and those resources must work together effectively. This is echoed in the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries—poor, rich and middle-income—to promote prosperity while protecting the planet.
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