At the center of the LMF-TF is the ethos of innovation that defines the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). As the UN flagship agency for LDC finance, UNCDF has distinct expertise around innovating and testing new models of finance, while de-risking investments and catalyzing follow-on finance. This is the kind of innovation that has benefitted from the powerful support of the LMF-TF.
Because of the innovation that the LMF-TF has supported, the Fund has dramatically enhanced its partnership development over the five years of its existence; expanding from its anchor investor (the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency or Sida) to a community of eight donor/partners. Not only have we increased the partner base, but the LMF-TF is pooling the resources of partners towards shared development themes and products, which was one of the defining aspirations of the fund.
Of course, this speaks to the mutually reinforcing power of the LMF-TF, the innovation that the fund supports attracts more partners, which enables UNCDF to execute more innovations in last mile markets—markets that have been historically underserved by the global financial and policy architecture.
Perhaps the greatest importance of the LMF-TF is that it represents a solution to one of the critical challenges of our time: how to harness the untapped growth potential of the LDCs. The LMF-TF provides a vision for such a solution—a solution that can finance innovation while catalyzing partn and resources towards the areas where development needs are greatest.