Rebeca Grynspan: 2010 Preliminary Results and Perspectives for 2011-2013

02 Feb 2011

Introductory statement by Associate Administrator on UNCDF – 2010 Preliminary Results and Perspectives for 2011-2013
UNCDF Segment, Executive Board 2011 First Regular Session


Distinguished Delegates,

I am pleased to welcome you to the UN Capital Development Fund session of the Executive Board, which will focus on the preliminary results for UNCDF 2010 and perspectives for 2011-2013. Before giving the floor to David Morrison, Executive Secretary, allow me to make a few introductory remarks.

As you are aware, UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 49 least developed countries. It creates new opportunities for poor people and their communities by increasing access to microfinance and investment capital. UNCDF focuses on Africa and the poorest countries of Asia, with a special commitment to countries emerging from conflict or crisis.

UNCDF provides seed capital – grants and loans – and technical support to help microfinance institutions reach more poor households and small businesses. It also helps local governments finance capital investments for water systems, feeder roads, schools, and irrigation schemes.

I’m pleased to report that external reviewers, such as the CGAP Smart Aid Index, have rated UNCDF very strongly.  And of course both of its two focus areas -- Microfinance and Local Development --  are directly relevant for accelerating MDG progress.   

UNCDF’s special focus on the LDCs means that 70% of its work is devoted to Africa. The remaining 30% is in Haiti, and the poorest countries of Asia.  The vulnerability of LDCs to natural and man-made crises also means that nearly 40% of UNCDF’s work is in crisis and post-conflict countries.

UNCDF has a unique strategic partnership with UNDP. While it has essentially the same legal status as UNV and the former UNIFEM – it opted some years ago to become part of UNDP’s Strategic Plan and results frameworks.

This means that in the 40 LDCs in which it operates, UNCDF is actively working to complement UNDP’s broader efforts. Indeed, almost 100% of UNCDF country programmes in both microfinance and local development are now undertaken jointly with UNDP – based on clear divisions in roles, mandates and comparative advantages.

Where we need to do better together, however, we are committed to doing so.  The recent evaluation on local governance, which the Board has just had the opportunity to discuss, suggests several ways to deepen the partnership further.  We will pursue these, including via a joint flagship publication on local governance and human development scheduled for 2012 and jointly helping countries take the steps they need to overcome the bottlenecks preventing progress toward off-track MDGs.

As I’m sure David will tell you, 2010 was a solid year for UNCDF. The growth and diversification of its non-core resource base has continued, signaling strong demand for its services.

The situation with respect to regular resources, however, while improved, is still sub-optimal. UNCDF has been in the unfortunate position of having to turn down requests for additional support in a number of LDCs due to a shortage of un-earmarked resources.  

Before giving David the floor, I would also like to commend the comprehensive efforts made under his leadership to review and strengthen UNCDF’s overall operations and sharpen its corporate strategy and positioning. I understand these efforts have largely been completed in 2010, leaving UNCDF in an excellent position to pursue new opportunities in 2011 and beyond.
David, over to you.