Though Cape Verde graduated from the group of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in 2008, it still faces economic vulnerabilities. Cape Verde has a high debt-to-GDP ratio at 126%, making the fiscal space extremely limited. Poverty remains a critical issue with 35.6% of Cape Verdeans classified as poor and 10.6% extremely poor, and inequality is one the country’s greatest challenges. The unemployment rate is 15%, with a higher incidence among women than men (17% vs 13%). And addressing youth challenges remains important, especially to ensure economic growth and that youth are meaningfully involved in the sustainable development of the country. Cabo Verde also faces environmental vulnerabilities related to its location in the Sahel region and the consequent lack of rain resulting in severe drought in recent years.
The One Programme seeks to better support Cape Verde’s national policies in accelerating economic growth, promoting competiveness, creating productive employment and fighting poverty. The Cape Verde Transition Fund was established in 2008 to support the coherent resource mobilization, allocation and disbursement of new donor resources to unfunded elements of the country’s One Programme and to new initiatives responding to emerging needs within the context of the One UN Programme and the ‘‘Delivering as One’’.
Strategic framework and theory of change
With the passage of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, the UN Country Team decided to use the remaining balance of the joint fund mobilized through the initiative of “Delivering as One” in Cape Verde, as part of the Cape Verde Trust Fund, to fund the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2018-2022.
The UNDAF is structured around the five main pillars of the Agenda 2030, and focused on improving governance along with social, economic and environmental resilience in the country:
- Planet: By 2022, the population of Cape Verde, particularly the most vulnerable, benefit from enhanced national and local capacity to apply integrated and innovative approaches to the sustainable and participative management of natural resources and biodiversity, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and disaster risk reduction.
- Prosperity: By 2022, the population of Cape Verde of working age, particularly women and youth, benefit from decent work through economic transformation in key sectors, that leads to more sustainable and inclusive economic development.
- Peace: By 2022, the population of Cape Verde population, particularly women, youth and children, benefit from increased human security, improved social cohesion, and a responsive and inclusive justice system and law application institutions, that lead to the fulfilment of human rights.
Moreover, the Transition Fund also provides critical support contributing to advocacy, policy dialogue and capacity building for planning and implementation in the context of climate change.