Sharm el-Sheikh, 11 November 2022: The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and climate and impact fund manager Camco signed a Memorandum of Understanding today to ramp up investments in climate-resilient agriculture in Southern Africa.
Rural populations across Southern Africa are heavily dependent on rain-fed agriculture for subsistence farming, which puts them at the frontline of worsening climate variability across the region.
As has been emphasized at the ongoing United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), adaptation finance for agriculture in Southern Africa requires significant scaling up and incentivization to build capacity and unlock private sector investment in climate-smart agriculture to promote adaptation and build climate resilience.
Under the agreement, UNIDO and Camco will promote access to climate finance, which will support developing countries in meeting their climate commitments and in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through accelerating sustainable industrial and economic development.
As COP27 is focused on implementation, the collaboration between UNIDO and Camco will aim at delivering tangible climate resilience via the Resilient Investment in Southern Africa (RISA) programme, which is currently being prepared for submission to the Green Climate Fund. RISA will enhance climate resilience of some of Africa’s most vulnerable groups by investing in small to medium-size enterprises (SMEs), since SMEs in the agricultural value chain are the best source of innovative adaptation solutions for the short to medium term.
RISA will seek to address climate vulnerability and risk by building resilience through the cost-effective deployment of products and services via SMEs within the agricultural value chain. The programme will consist of two interlinked components: a technical assistance facility, managed by UNIDO, and an investment facility, managed by Camco.
Gerd Müller, Director General of UNIDO, said: “Climate change is the single greatest threat to a sustainable future. Addressing the climate challenge presents a golden opportunity to promote prosperity and a brighter future for all.”
Geoff Sinclair, Managing Director at Camco, said: “Today’s signing of the agreement with UNIDO represents a very exciting moment for Camco as we continue to pursue new opportunities to support sustainable development and climate adaptation.
“The partnership draws on UNIDO’s extensive capacity and experience as the UN’s specialized agency promoting industrial development and progress by innovation, and Camco’s long track record of deploying sustainable finance in Africa and other developing markets around the world, making the partnership the ideal union for developing and implementing RISA.”
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Current climate variability, as well as expected future climate change represent significant climate hazards for southern Africa. Rural populations across the region are heavily dependent on rain-fed agriculture for subsistence farming and are thus directly exposed to these climate hazards and their impacts.
Small to medium-size enterprises active in the agricultural value chain are also exposed to climate hazards, which affects both supply of, and demand for, their products and services. The RISA programme will seek to address climate vulnerability and risk by building resilience through cost-effective deployment of products and services via SMEs within the agricultural value chain.
Adaptation finance for agriculture in southern Africa requires significant scaling up and incentivization, particularly in the up-stream and mid-stream agricultural value chains, in order to build capacity and unlock private sector investment in climate-smart agriculture to promote adaptation and build climate resilience.
It is against that background that UNIDO and Camco – both accredited entities of the Green Climate Fund – are joining hands to prepare the RISA programme with a view to catalyzing investment in climate adaptation SMEs active within agricultural value chains in target countries across the region. RISA support will focus on achieving greater climate resilience and positive climate adaptation impact for SMEs and farms across all target countries.
RISA will consist of two interlinked components, namely a Technical Assistance Facility, managed by UNIDO, and an Investment Facility, managed by Camco. UNIDO and Camco are currently co-designing the intervention.
UNIDO is the specialized agency of the United Nations with a unique mandate to promote and accelerate sustainable industrial and economic development. UNIDO supports countries to industrialize in ways that foster digital and green transitions and accelerate progress with the Sustainable Development Goals. To scale up and mainstream its operations, UNIDO’s Division of Innovative Finance and International Financial Institutions (IFIs) focuses on identifying, developing, conceptualizing and deploying innovative financial value propositions as well as on strengthening partnerships with IFIs and finance actors to catalyze and leverage additional investment in sustainable industrial development. The UNIDO motto is "Progress by innovation".
Camco is a specialist climate and impact fund manager, leading the transition in emerging markets. We offer clean, secure investments, pairing the conscience of a development bank with the agility of a private company. Camco is an Accredited Entity of the Green Climate Fund and is authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. The company has offices in Accra, Auckland, Helsinki, Johannesburg, London, Nairobi, Singapore, Sydney and Toronto.