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The Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office is a UN center of expertise on pooled financing mechanisms.

It supports development effectiveness and UN coordination through the efficient, accountable and transparent design and administration of innovative pooled financing mechanisms. For more information, consult the MPTF Office Gateway and publications.

News
1 Mar 2021

Today, the United Nations Joint SDG Fund announces a US$41 million portfolio to catalyze strategic financing to accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The allocation expands the Joint SDG Fund’s investments to date to US$223 million, encompassing programming in 112 countries for Integrated Social Protection and SDG Investments.

Fiji, Indonesia, Malawi and Uruguay were selected from 155 proposals from over 100 country applicants across the globe. UN Country Teams, in partnership with Governments, engaged senior finance experts to create in-depth approaches and solutions to SDG acceleration. Convergence Blended Finance provided the due diligence process with participation from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Rockefeller Foundation, Bamboo Capital, among others.

Our dream is to bring together Wall Street and the rapidly increasing focus on ESG, impact investing, and investor excitement on the SDGs. The Joint SDG Fund is the vehicle to make this dream a reality. The Fund provides catalytic grants to unlock private capital towards blended financing of SDG investments.” Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations

Each of the four programmes combine public and private money to invest in achieving the SDGs. Fiji will conserve and protect coastal reefs, marine life ecosystems while empowering local communities who rely on reefs for their survival. Indonesia will create a new generation of financial products to combat climate change by transitioning towards low impact energy and empowering the creation of women led small businesses. Malawi will reduce poverty, hunger and inequality by creating jobs and supporting small businesses in the country’s severely undercapitalized agricultural sector. Uruguay will combat climate change by helping transition the country's transportation and industry sectors to green energy while reducing poverty and providing affordable access to innovative clean technologies. These four programmes alone are anticipated to leverage an estimated US$4.7 billion in additional finance.

“Thanks to the support of the Joint SDG Fund, the UN team is better equipped to support the alignment of private investments to the SDGs, through the establishment of a national ecosystem for impact investment. Without a doubt, it changes the way we work.” Mireia Villar Forner, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Uruguay

The Joint SDG Fund is also developing an impact-first portfolio of 12 additional countries that will receive support to further develop their proposals, including access to global SDG financing leaders in commercial banks, impact investing firms, development finance institutions and access to tailored coaching programmes.

The portfolio will focus on diverse country typographies and impact areas: four Small Island Developing States, five Least Developed Countries and one Fragile State. In Kenya, an impact bond will finance sexual and reproductive health for adolescents. Suriname will develop its pineapple value chain to be more sustainable and affordable while Rwanda will fund health clinics powered by solar panel energy impacting the lives of people in rural communities and creating employment.

“Our model fosters blended finance and a joint effort in the public and private sector, where corporates play an active role, beyond the provision of cash. The private sector can improve the sustainability of the impacts in the longer term. For this, we need cooperation with the leaders in development.” Marie-Laure Bourat, Co-Founder of Social Impact Solutions at Société Générale

These diverse projects all have one critical element in common, their ability to leverage multi-million dollar grants from the Joint SDG Fund into billions for sustainable development and shift the conversation from funding to financing to advance equitable solutions.

With sincere appreciation for the contributions from the European Union and Governments of Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Monaco, Kingdom of Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and our private sector funding partners, this milestone marks a transformative movement to achieving the SDGs by 2030.

Originally published on https://www.jointsdgfund.org/


28 Jan 2021

The Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR) is pleased to announce that Germany, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation have made commitments to the fund totaling more than USD$10 million. These contributions, announced during the first GFCR Executive Board meeting this week, mark the launch of a fundraising campaign that will culminate at the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021.

Coral reefs, which support an estimated one billion people worldwide, are among the most threatened ecosystems on Earth. It is estimated that more than half the world’s coral reefs have been lost due to climate change, over-fishing and growing local pressures. Coral reef decline, however, can be reversed by acting with urgency to implement proven projects at scale.

"Coral reefs are one of the habitats most threatened by climate change. They make an important contribution to the biodiversity of our planet and to coastal protection,” said Dr. Gerd Müller, German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development. “The Global Fund for Coral Reefs is an important step towards protecting these ecosystems.”

The GFCR is a blended finance mechanism that will use public and philanthropic funding to catalyze private investments in coral reef conservation and restoration. These initial contributions will be used to operationalize the fund, develop a pipeline of investable projects, and implement promising early projects.

The GFCR Executive Board reviewed and provided initial direction on programming priorities during its inaugural meeting that concluded January 28.

Conceptualized at a workshop in 2018 hosted by the Principality of Monaco and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, the GFCR has since grown into a global partnership that includes Member States (Germany), philanthropy (Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation); UN Agencies (UNDP, UNEP and UNCDF) and financial institutions (BNP Paribas and Mirova).

“We are pleased to be joining this world-class, public-private partnership to change the trajectory of the coral reef crisis,” said Paul Keating, head of philanthropy, Vulcan Inc., on behalf of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. “This smart blended finance approach allows governments, philanthropy and private investors to work together to achieve a common objective: sustainable coral reef conservation.”

Administered by the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office, the GFCR is the first United Nations trust fund specifically focused on Sustainable Development Goal 14 (“Life Below Water”) and the first global blended finance instrument dedicated to coral reefs. The fund responds to the “coral reef funding gap” and fragmentation of funding for coral reef conservation and restoration projects.

“Home to 25% of marine life and essential to a billion people worldwide, protecting coral reefs is critical to the survival of the planet,” said Olivier Wenden, Vice-President and CEO of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. “These ecosystems face unprecedent threats and significant loss. Without urgent action and rapid mobilization of financial resources, coral reefs will experience even greater collapse.”

The GFCR is expected to mobilize US$125 million through grants and US$375 million of financing assets, that together will unlock more than two billion dollars in coral reef investments. The fund will demonstrate how a blended finance approach can mobilize resources to support coral reef-dependent communities.  

“Innovative finance for conservation is a central pillar of UNDP’s strategy. Without nature, at least half of the SDG targets cannot be achieved and half of the global GDP is dependent on nature. As the world’s first UN multi-partner trust fund for SDG14, the Global Fund for Coral Reefs will unleash the power of private sector financing for conservation while helping countries to rebuild and enhance resilience to COVID-19 and other shocks,” stated Haoliang Xu, UN Assistant Secretary General and Director of UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support.

 

For more information: https://globalfundcoralreefs.org/

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Secretariat@globalfundcoralreefs.org


26 Jan 2021

Against the backdrop of a COVID-19 crisis that has exacerbated pre-pandemic challenges and a global ceasefire appeal to combat it, the UN chief called for new peacebuilding funds on Tuesday, promising a “renewed approach to multilateralism and international cooperation”. 

“An approach that goes beyond crisis response and boosts long-term investments in prevention and peacebuilding, hand-in-hand with our efforts to deliver the Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs)”, Secretary-General António Guterres told the High-level Replenishment Conference for the UN Peacebuilding Fund (PBF), which requires $1.5B for 2020-2024.  

‘Stewards’ of development 

The “scale of turmoil…requires concerted efforts to ease tensions and prevent further escalation”, explained the top UN official.  

He underscored the need for increased support to women and young people “as agents for peace and stewards of inclusive development”, maintaining that without their participation, “neither peace nor prosperity can be sustainable”.  

‘The right support’ 

When aligned with both the UN’s and individual national priorities, the PBF and Peacebuilding Commission engagement, “can be invaluable”, according to the Secretary-General.  

He gave a first-hand account of how the PBF had helped to stabilize Bambari in the Central African Republic (CAR), including through a combination of cash-for-work, rehabilitation, socio-economic revitalization and support to local peace committees.  

In fragile contexts, peacebuilding requires “political courage and leadership” at national and local levels, and “the right support at the right time” from the international community, the UN chief attested. 

“We need to take risks for peace…and space to seize opportunities”, he said. “We have a responsibility to bring down the institutional siloes” and join the full range of UN capacities.  

“The Peacebuilding Fund aims to do just that”, upheld the top diplomat. 

Argument for investing 

The UN chief lauded the value of the PBF, noting that it prioritizes risky or underfunded areas; mobilizes vital additional funding at national and regional levels; fosters joint action across the UN system; and enables partnerships with a wide range of participants, “often kick-starting initiatives that others can scale up”.  

Moreover, he maintained that with additional resources, the Fund could promote coordination between the UN and other development partners and help to finance transitions as large peace operations draw down. 

“In a global context with significant volatility, the Fund’s flexibility is vital”, Mr. Guterres stated, flagging the UN’s COVID-19 response with national partners and UN Resident Coordinators (heads of UN Country Teams) to adjust ongoing programmes and emerging prevention priorities.  

Yet, despite its impact and cost-effectiveness, the PBF is repeatedly short funded. 

Critical appeal 

In 2020, the Peacebuilding Fund mobilized more than $180 million – delivering in the most difficult contexts.  

“But its resources are now depleted”, the UN chief said. “We must urgently replenish it” to save lives and demonstrate multilateral support.  

A contribution from all Member States and partners would provide a “quantum leap” and signal that together, “we can successfully invest in building and sustaining peace”. 

“I urge those that have not yet contributed, in particular Members of the Security Council and the Peacebuilding Commission, to act on your commitments and provide a contribution to this essential global instrument for peace”, the Secretary concluded.

 

Originally published on UN News


6 Jan 2021

GenU in partnership with UNICEF is supporting the government of Bangladesh to roll out an ambitious Adolescent Skills Framework set to address the mismatch between education, skills training and jobs. 

Bangladesh — Every year two million young Bangladeshis (15-24) embark on their first experience in the world of work. But, too often, they find themselves ill-equipped to be truly productive. In fact, a recent study found that the majority of young workers surveyed (85 per cent) had gained the skills they were using at work somewhere other than informal education settings. 

To address this significant mismatch between education, skills training, and jobs, Generation Unlimited (GenU) in partnership with UNICEF is supporting the government to roll out an ambitious Adolescent Skills Framework. This initiative is part of GenU’s aim of reaching 10 million secondary age school youth across the country with transferrable, digital and technology skills by 2024.

Led by the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB), the skills framework was co-created by 27 agencies from across the government, private sector, civil society, and development partners, including GenU Bangladesh partners. It builds on the work initiated by UNICEF through NCTB under Bangladesh’s Ministry of Education and in close collaboration with a wide range of partners. With the leadership of NCTB, Government ownership was evident from the beginning, with the Ministry of Education keen to meet the demand of the private sector for a future-skilled workforce.

The skills framework is also part of an overall effort by the Government to reform and integrate school curricula with the skills young people need to succeed in today’s world of work. The framework functions as a key guiding document on several reform agendas including competency-based curriculum, experiential learning pedagogy, interdisciplinary approaches, and formative assessment methods.

Closing the youth skills gap is expected to ease high unemployment, underemployment, and economic inactivity among young people, who constitute 20 per cent of Bangladesh’s population. Right now, more than one million youth in the country are unemployed.

Meanwhile, close to one-third of them are not in education, employment, and training (NEET), and the majority of these are young women. The potential for change is enormous. It is estimated that 6 million young women and men, including the most vulnerable, would benefit from greater investment in youth skills and employability.

Currently, GenU in partnership with UNICEF, NCTB and Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education, is piloting the newly developed national curriculum framework across secondary education institutions. This work is implemented with the generous support of the Government of the Netherlands. It foresees that, as of 2021, youth across Bangladesh will begin acquiring transferable skills. Then, as of January 2022, the detailed curriculum, pedagogy, teaching and learning materials, and assessment strategies will be rolled out.

Originally published on https://www.generationunlimited.org


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