UNCDF’s mandate from the UN General Assembly (1966) is to “assist developing countries in the development of their economies by supplementing existing sources of capital assistance by means of grants and loans”. The mandate was modified in 1974 to focus on “first and foremost the least developed among the developing countries”.
UNCDF work on empowering women
Women with access to financial services are more likely to start businesses, plan for life-cycle events such as weddings and funerals, and cope with setbacks such as the sudden illness of family member. There are also positive inter-generational effects: women with access to savings and credit are more likely to keep their children – including their daughters – in school. Roughly 60% of the clients of UNCDF-supported financial service providers are women, and all UNCDF-supported providers sign performance agreements with clear targets for outreach to women.
In 2009, together with UN Women and Belgium, UNCDF launched the Gender Equitable Local Development programme (GELD). GELD advocates for gender-responsive planning, programming and budgeting at the local level, and helps ensure that development policy and public expenditures are gender-equitable. It is currently being mainstreamed in 5 countries where UNCDF projects are active.
Please find further information about GELD as a program of UNCDF here.