UNDP’s first Asia-Pacific ‘impact fund’ backs affordable housing for urban migrants in Bangladesh

Sep 20, 2017

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner (3rd from left) together with her excellency Sheikh Hasina, Honorable Prime Minister of Bangladesh, the Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada’s Minister of International Development, and UNDP Asia-Pacific Director Haoliang Xu, at the launch of the Build Bangladesh-UNDP SDGs Impact Fund. UNDP Photo.

The United Nations Development Programme, in partnership with Build Bangladesh, today launched a new ‘impact fund’ that aims to raise over US$100m from private investors willing to back profitable ventures that create positive social and environmental impacts in Bangladesh.

The ‘Build Bangladesh-UNDP SDGs Impact Fund’ was unveiled by Bangladesh’s Prime Minister H.E. Sheikh Hasina, the Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada’s Minister of International Development, and UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner, at a joint event on the sidelines of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The Fund started its journey with a seed investment of US$3.5m to build affordable housing for urban migrants, and is part of the UNDP’s impact investment initiative for Asia-Pacific, mobilising capital markets to fund development that yields competitive returns.

Over the next five years, the Fund intends to expand their portfolio into agriculture, healthcare, information technology, renewable energy and training and education, with projects that align with the Sustainable Development Goals.

“This fund is a bold leap forward in how to proactively engage capital markets to create positive social impacts, while establishing new business models and innovative partnerships,” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner. 

The fund is part of the UNDP-SDG Impact Finance (UNSIF), a major new initiative that is looking to channel capital market investments into hybrid development projects in Asia and the Pacific.

The partner for the Build-Bangladesh-UNDP SDG Fund is the Dhaka-based Impress Capital Ltd, which will assess financial viability of proposals, advise investors on progress and ensure successful delivery of the projects.     

“This Fund is a humble beginning of a dream of attracting local and global investors through innovative partnerships, and we highly appreciate the ‘outside the box’ thinking for the UNDP to implement ‘another first’ for Bangladesh,” said Reaz Ahmed Khan, Chairman of Build Bangladesh and ICL. 

The joint event was organised by the permanent missions of Bangladesh and Canada to the United Nations with support from UNDP. 


Contact information

Yolanda Ma Communications & Partnership Analyst, UNSIF jinxin.ma@undp.org

Mahtab Haider Communications Specialist, UNDP Mahtab.haider@undp.org

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