The UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OPEC Fund) have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on sustainable finance solutions that will speed up delivery of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The OPEC Fund is composed of pledged contributions from 12 member states that are also, largely, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Its mandate focuses on development in the global south.
One area the two organizations are looking to collaborate on is building viable energy markets for clean cooking solutions. According to a joint statement from the groups, UNCDF will be working with the OPEC Fund’s energy transition pilot program in Madagascar alongside the UN Development Program and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.
Other areas the partnership is looking to cover include promoting digital economies that are economically inclusive and providing financial and technical support to local level, transformational finance. They will also explore unlocking capital finance for small and medium-sized enterprises, financial service providers and local infrastructure projects.
UNCDF executive secretary Preeti Sinha said: “UNCDF complements traditional grant-making and technical assistance with a capital mandate that is very unique to the UN system — a unique capital mandate that enables us to use financing capabilities and instruments; including loans, guarantees and blended finance funds.”
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She added: “The OPEC Fund provides public, private and trade sector financing, grants as well as innovative financing solutions to support vital development projects in low and middle-income countries across the world.
“By harnessing the synergies of our two organizations, we have an opportunity to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs, specifically for the world’s least developed countries that possess both the greatest development needs as well as the enormous untapped potential for economic growth and development.”