Wednesday, June 29, 2022
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.
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
12.40-1.10pm Panel 1: What is SDG Cities
1.10-1.40pm Panel 2: Investing in local solutions that promote social and economic inclusion in cities