Introductory statement of the Draft Strategic Framework of the United Nations Capital Development Fund, 2022–2025

Executive Board First Regular Session, 1 February 2022

Posted February 1, 2022

Mme. President, Distinguished Members of the Executive Board,

It is a pleasure to welcome you to the agenda item on the United Nations Capital Development Fund’s (UNCDF) Strategic Framework, 2022-2025.

With its dedicated focus on supporting the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), UNCDF plays a crucial role in the UN development system -- offering investment capital and technical support to both the public and the private sector.

It offers much-needed expertise in key areas – including digital economies, digital finance, as well as sub-national finance.

Over the past four years, UNCDF has made solid progress in adjusting, refining and expanding its offer.

For instance, under its investment platform, UNCDF is providing catalytic loans and guarantees for SDG-aligned ventures that help them attract other forms of capital.

With this capability in place, the organisation is now well situated to share this vital expertise and its instruments to the wider UN development system and to more countries.

UNCDF is also advancing efforts to boost financial inclusion through increased engagement on digital finance and digital economies.

For instance to the UNDP-UNCDF Joint Offer on Digital Financing. It will help governments to design new digital financing strategies -- creating an enabling environment that will propel SME growth and steer the development of a more SDG-oriented FinTech sector.

On subnational finance, the organisation is assisting local governments to build green infrastructure projects through new access to international capital markets and international climate finance – to take just one example.

This new Strategic Framework builds on such innovative support.

UNCDF will also offer support in crucial areas including women's economic empowerment as well as climate, energy, food systems and biodiversity finance.

In doing so, it will strengthen its long-existing relationship with UN entities – combining its financing capabilities with their complementary expertise.

This joined-up approach will help fill a gap in the development finance architecture while expanding the UN's overall “offer” on sustainable finance. 

At UNDP, we are very proud to be a close partner of UNCDF, working in countries and communities across the globe to offer vital development support.

In particular, UNCDF's expertise in last-mile & innovative financing solutions is a powerful companion to UNDP's broader development expertise and development finance efforts.

As UNDP commences our new Strategic Plan in 2022, UNCDF will continue to play a pivotal role in realising our common objectives -- including accelerating progress towards the SDGs in Least Developed Countries.

In closing, let me express my sincere gratitude to UNCDF’s Executive Secretary, Preeti Sinha, for her key role in developing this ambitious Strategic Framework.

As ever, UNDP looks forward to working closely with our UNCDF colleagues at this pivotal moment for people and the planet.

Thank you.