UNCDF has been present in The Gambia since 2018, improving the accessibility of financial services for low-income population in urban and rural areas and building local governments resilience to climate change and strengthening their fiscal space to deliver services.
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 implemented the Jobs, Skills and Finance (JSF) for youth and women in The Gambia. The JSF programme launched in collaboration with International Trade Center (ITC) is funded by the European Development Fund. JSF addresses persistent challenges in The Gambia which include lack of job opportunities for youth and women, low levels of financial inclusion and climate change adaptation and mitigation. In order to address these challenges, the programme focuses on fostering inclusive and sustainable growth as well as creating employment for youth and women by establishing a local ecosystem where youth, women, local governments and SMEs are supported to access the resources they need to grow.
As part of the JSF Programme, UNCDF is also implementing its Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility (LoCAL) in The Gambia. LoCAL is designed to help governments channel global climate adaptation financing to the local level. The innovative performance-based climate resilience grant (PBCRG) approach of the programme is used to support job creation, particularly in the green economy. Local authorities and communities are supported in identifying needs in priority sectors and in planning investments accordingly.
With the support of the Blue Peace Initiative and its partners (Swiss Development Cooperation, Geneva Water Hub), UNCDF has partnered with the Organization for the Development of the Gambia River (OMVG) to implement an Integrated Development Master Plan (IDMP) and a Joint Investment Plan (Master Plan) for the development of the Gambia River basins. UNCDF and the other partners are providing technical assistance to OMVG with an approach based on the development of joint transboundary and multisectoral investment plans identified and managed by member states. This portfolio approach allows IDDP projects to be diversified and - eventually - subsidized, thus allowing low-income projects to receive investment and thus be implemented.