UNCDF is a small and focused organization with a clear mission. With a capital mandate unique in the UN development system, UNCDF helps the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) get finance flowing to the people, local governments, and small enterprises that are underserved by and excluded from other financing mechanisms. We demonstrate every day how small amounts of Official Development Assistance (ODA) can help LDCs leverage public and private resources for maximum impact in the last mile.
We demonstrate every day how small amounts of Official Development Assistance (ODA) can help LDCs leverage public and private resources for maximum impact in the last mile.
Since UNCDF was founded in 1966, many LDCs have made impressive gains in improving people’s lives and livelihoods. Now, as the world looks to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ensure that no one is left behind, our focus on getting finance flowing to where it is needed most is more important than ever.
Today, more than ever, LDCs need continued support to mobilize sufficient resources on a range of issues: to benefit from urbanization; to adapt to climate change; to give poor citizens access to the financial services they need to build a better future for themselves and their families; and to build resilient local economies that offer opportunities and livelihoods to women, men, and young people.
This report demonstrates the vital role UNCDF plays in these areas. Our work, supported by ODA, allows us to identify opportunities where others see only challenges, to demonstrate the business case for investing where others see risks, and to pilot projects and ideas that others can scale up, in regions they might otherwise overlook.
Looking ahead, UNCDF will continue to expand the frontiers of where finance flows by proving the business case for operating where few others do.
We are creating an investment fund for LDCs to demonstrate how blending different sources of finance—grant funding, ODA, concessional finance, impact investment funding seeking a financial return—can catalyze further investment, both public and private, into promising LDC markets. We are applying digital and other technologies to bring banking and microinsurance services to the poor in rural and underserved areas, to bring down the cost of remittances for migrants, and to encourage young people to save, learn financial skills, and start businesses that can improve their lives.
Our successes are a result of the willingness of LDC governments to partner and innovate with us. We are also deeply grateful to our funding and implementing partners, who champion our work by contributing to UNCDF’s regular resources, fund thematic and country initiatives that allow us to test new ideas, and support us to adapt the best lessons learned and apply them for greatest impact. Working with our partners, we can help translate global development agendas into concrete benefits for the people, governments, and institutions at risk of being left behind. Working together, we can build a more fair, inclusive, and prosperous world.
UNCDF Executive Secretary