Toronto, March 1, 2021 – Today, the United Nations (UN) Joint SDG Fund and Convergence announce USD 41 million in investments to catalyze strategic financing to accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This announcement follows months of evaluation and technical assistance led by Convergence.
Over the past 10 months, as the principal independent evaluator and advisor to operationalize the Call on SDG Financing Component 2: Catalyzing Strategic Investments, Convergence conducted a thorough evaluation of over 150 concept notes submitted by 100 UN Country Teams (UNCTs), from which 28 high-potential concepts were shortlisted for full proposal development alongside additional technical assistance from Convergence and the UN Joint SDG Fund.
In February, Convergence recommended proposals from Fiji, Indonesia, Malawi, and Uruguay for funding, which were approved. “Convergence is a critical partner to the UN Joint SDG Fund as we strive to catalyze private investment and shift the conversation from funding to financing. Through the evaluation and technical process led by Convergence, Fiji, Indonesia, Malawi, and Uruguay are the first to mark a transformative movement to achieving the SDGs by 2030,” says Lisa Kurbiel, Head of the Joint SDG Fund.
Each of these interventions makes strategic use of catalytic capital to mobilize commercial capital to invest in achieving the SDGs. The Fiji initiative will conserve and protect coastal reefs, marine life ecosystems while empowering local communities who rely on reefs for their survival. The Indonesia initiative 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. The intervention in Malawi will reduce poverty, hunger, and inequality, by creating jobs and supporting small businesses in the country’s severely undercapitalized agricultural sector. The Uruguay initiative 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 interventions are anticipated to mobilize an estimated USD 4.7 billion in additional finance from private, public, and philanthropic investors.
“We are thrilled to see these proposals move forward. A key strength of these proposals is the deep understanding of the local country context and the strong alignment to national priorities presented by the UNCTs,” says Joan Larrea, CEO of Convergence.
The UN Joint SDG Fund plans to further support a pipeline of 12 additional promising proposals evaluated by Convergence. This pipeline represents diverse country typographies and impact areas, including four small island developing states, five least developed countries, and one fragile state. According to Adhiti Gupta, Manager, Market Acceleration & Design Funding at Convergence, and the lead for this work, the four selected proposals and pipeline of 12 transactions broadly reflect the regional distribution of blended finance deals in emerging markets, observed on Convergence’s Historical Deals Database.
The partnership with the UN Joint SDG Fund in catalyzing SDG financing forms part of Convergence’s broader market acceleration strategy. Convergence runs an in-house Design Funding Program, open to all practitioners, that provides feasibility study and proof of concept stage grant funding to develop and launch catalytic blended finance vehicles that aim to attract private capital to sustainable development at scale. In the coming months, Convergence looks forward to sharing more insights from its work with the UN Joint SDG Fund to catalyze additional private investment in the SDGs.
Convergence is the global network for blended finance. In addition to its Design Funding Program and market acceleration activity, Convergence generates blended finance data, intelligence, and deal flow to increase private sector investment in developing countries. Convergence’s global membership includes over 200 public, private, and philanthropic investors as well as sponsors of transactions and funds. Organizations interested in partnering with Convergence to help accelerate the market for blended finance, and fund the design of blended finance vehicles, are encouraged to contact Convergence at [email protected] To learn more about Convergence, visit www.convergence.finance. To more about the Joint SDG Fund Portfolio, visit www.jointsdgfund.org.
Please direct your inquiries to Namrata Narayan, Head of Communications at Convergence: [email protected]