The original UNCDF mandate from the UN General Assembly (UNGA) is to “assist developing countries in the development of their economies by supplementing existing sources of capital assistance by means of grants and loans” (General Assembly Resolution 2186, 13 December 1966). The mandate was modified in 1973 to serve first and foremost but not exclusively the LDCs.
UNCDF has a unique financial mandate within the UN system. It provides investment capital and technical support to both the public and the private sector. The ability to provide capital financing -- in the forms of grants, soft loans and credit enhancement – and the technical expertise in preparing portfolios of sustainable and resilient capacity building and infrastructure projects, makes its mandate a very useful complement to the mandates of other UN agencies. It also positions UNCDF as an early stage investor to de-risk opportunities that can later be scaled up by institutional financial partners and increasingly by philanthropic foundations and private sector investors.