UNCDF Global Head makes inaugural visit to Fiji

September 16, 2015

Suva, Republic of Fiji, 16 September 2015 – United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) Executive Secretary Ms. Judith Karl on Tuesday commenced a four-day visit to Fiji.

UNCDF’s mandate is to be the United Nation’s capital investment agency for the world’s 48 least developed countries.  In the Pacific region, UNCDF and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) jointly manage the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP), a Pacific-wide programme helping low-income households gain access to quality and affordable financial services and financial education, with Australian Government, European Union and New Zealand Government as development partners.

Ms. Karl joined UNCDF on 1 August 2014 and brings over 25 years of multilateral experience in international cooperation, development and poverty reduction.  She previously served as Director of the Operations Support Group in the UNDP Executive Office focusing on organizational performance and results.  She served for six years as a strategy and policy expert in Crisis Prevention and Recovery, for UNDP and for the coordinated UN Development System, and as the Deputy Director for UNDP Washington Liaison Office.

As Executive Secretary of UNCDF, Ms. Karl provides organizational leadership and management and sets UNCDF’s strategic direction and goals. She directs and leads UNCDF in implementing decisions and resolutions adopted by the Executive Board, ECOSOC, and the General Assembly as they relate to UNCDF.

During her visit, Ms. Karl will meet with various government officials, representatives of private sector, the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) and the National Financial Inclusion Taskforce, Donors and the United Nations. 

UNCDF’s partners and stakeholders support its unique role in providing investment capital and technical support to both public and private sectors in Fiji and the Pacific region to progressively improve their economies.

The Executive Secretary will also be part of the launch of the “Fiji Financial Services Demand Side Survey” report on Thursday 17 September 2015 organized jointly by the RBF and PFIP.

Following her visit to Fiji, the Executive Secretary will be delivering the opening address at the Pacific Microfinance Week on 22 September 2015 in Honiara and launching the “Solomon Islands Financial Services Demand Side Survey” report with the Central Bank of Solomon Islands.

                                                                                            ***

The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs). UNCDF uses its capital mandate to help LDCs pursue inclusive growth. UNCDF uses ‘smart’ Official Development Assistance (ODA) to unlock and leverage public and private domestic resources; it promotes financial inclusion, including through digital finance, as a key enabler of poverty reduction and inclusive growth; and it demonstrates how localizing finance outside the capital cities can accelerate growth in local economies, promote sustainable and climate resilient infrastructure development, and empower local communities. Using capital grants, loans, and credit enhancements, UNCDF tests financial models in inclusive finance and local development finance; ‘de-risks’ the local investment space; and proves concept, paving the way for larger and more risk-averse investors to come in and scale up.

For more information or media inquiries please contact:

In New York:

Chiara PaceCommunications Specialist; Tel: +1-212-906-6569; Email: chiara.pace@uncdf.org; Website:http://www.uncdf.org/

PFIP is a Pacific-wide programme helping low-income households gain access to quality and affordable financial services and financial education. It is jointly managed by the UN Capital Development Fund (UNC DF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UN DP) and receives funding from the Australian Government, the European Union and the New Zealand Government. PFIP funding for the Fiji Demand Side Survey was from the DFAT Fiji bi-lateral programme.

PFIP aims to add one million Pacific Islanders to the formal financial sector by 2019 by spearheading policy and regulatory initiatives, facilitating access to appropriate financial services and delivery channels and by strengthening financial competencies and consumer empowerment.

For more information or media inquiries please contact:

In Suva:
Shadiyana Begum –Communication for Development Consultant; Tel: +679 322 7538; Email:Shadiyana.begum@undp.org; Website: http://www.pfip.org/