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Financing the SDGs in Cities: UNCDF/UN-Habitat Fused Offering for Cities

David Jackson



Wednesday, June 29, 2022


Multifunction Hall: ONE UN Room
UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)
Polish, Spanish, English, French + CART [English]
Equitable urban futures
UN 10


The world is urbanizing rapidly. Currently people living in urban areas make up 55% of the global population. This will increase to 67% by 2050, as the world’s urban population increases by 2.3 billion. The New Urban Agenda advocates the following elements as critical to the achievement of sustainable development in cities: urban policy and legislation; urban planning and design; accountable, inclusive governance; effective, equitable service delivery; and effective public financial management and financing. On the latter, the unmet financing needs of cities to address the challenges of inequalities and environmental sustainability and meet the SDGs is in its trillions. Without effective policy environment and financing mechanisms, the potential for urbanization to drive sustainable development will be lost. Even worse, the resulting unsustainable built environments will exacerbate global problems. Meeting this financing gap requires leveraging a broad range of financial resources towards sustainable outcomes.

To this end, UN-Habitat – the UN agency for cites, and UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) – the UN’s hub for sub-national finance, have joined forces through the SDG Cities Global Initiative to help cities reach their unmet financing needs for sustainable development. This Fused Offering includes the following the assessment and strengthening of Own Source Revenue; asset management systems; public expenditure and financial management systems; and creditworthiness. Cities are also supported to meet their SDG impact financing needs through: Debt (bonds and loans) or equity financing; Blended finance (the Cities Investment Facility).

Examples of early results include USD 2 million revenue increase in the city of Hargeisa (Somaliland), USD 23 million water infrastructure bond in Tanga City (Tanzania) to support Tanga Urban Water Authority and Sanitation (UWASA) to issue a fixed rate bond for the construction of water infrastructure; working with Kampala Capital City Authority (Uganda) for a Green Bond; partnership with FirstRand (South Africa) and the Johannesburg stock exchange to securitize environmentally friendly projects from countries of the regions with listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and cross-listing on the London Stock Exchange,  and a pipeline of 55 projects with combined value of USD 1.7 billion being steered towards investment partners in the City Investment Facility, whose pipeline is evaluated by the Dual Key approach.

Furthermore, the event will focus on the importance of investing in local solutions that address the needs of the most vulnerable populations and increase their access to economic opportunities, better services and infrastructure. It will showcase important tools and best practices for incorporating gender responsive and inclusive priorities in urban development agenda. The event will also highlight the centrality of local investments to build inclusive and climate resilient cities and will provide a forum for key recommendations and way forward for promoting local based solutions for inclusive urbanization.


The objective of the event is to showcase the Fused Offering of UNCDF and UN-Habitat for cities. Cities will be given access to advice, resources and technical assistance to strengthen local revenue, improve public financial management, improve creditworthiness, enhance capital investment planning, apply for customized financing and implementation vehicles including municipal loans and equity investment, and access blended capital for SDG impact projects. The event will also showcase tools and best practices of gender responsive and inclusive investments in cities.

Draft Agenda

Moderator: Mr. David Jackson, Director of Local Transformative Finance, UNCDF

12.30-12.40pm Opening and Setting the Scene: Overview of UN-Habitat/UNCDF Fused Offering for Cities

  • Mr. David Jackson, Director of Local Transformative Finance, UNCDF
  • Mr. Dyfed Aubrey, Senior Advisor, UN-Habitat

12.40-1.10pm Panel 1: What is SDG Cities

  • Mr. Alawi Ahmadi, Project Resource Mobilization Coordinator, Tanga Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Authority, Tanzania
  • Hon. Mr. Samuel Pyne, Mayor of Kumasi, Ghana
  • Hon. Mr. Mohamed Sefiani, Mayor of Chefchaouen, Morocco
  • Mr. Lars Gronvald, Team Lead for Urban Development, DG INTPA Unit F4, European Commission
  • Ms. Jenifer Bukokhe Wakhungu, Deputy Director of Local Transformative Finance, UNCDF

1.10-1.40pm Panel 2: Investing in local solutions that promote social and economic inclusion in cities

  • Ms. Saila Farzana, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Public Administration, Bangladesh
  • Hon. Mr. Abdoul Aziz Paye, Mayor of Municipality of Gueule Tapée – Fass – Colobane, Dakar, Senegal
  • Mrs. Assumpta Tibamwenda, Technical Advisor, Ministry of Local Government, Uganda
  • Ms. Samina Anwar, Advisor, Invest in Urban Inclusion, UNCDF
  • Mr. Sergio Marcondes, Founder and COO, Blend Group

1.40-1.55pm Q&A

1.55-2pm Closing

  • Mr. Raf Tuts, Director, Global Solutions Division, UN-Habitat