It is a pleasure to join this panel discussion and celebration of the accomplishments of the India, Brazil and South Africa Facility for Poverty and Hunger Alleviation, the IBSA Fund.
Now in its ninth year of operation, the IBSA Fund portfolio includes 24 funded projects in 14 countries, spanning every developing region, and totaling $29 million in investments – almost ten times the original capital investment.
The Fund played a catalytic role in developing countries’ pursuit of all eight Millennium Development Goals by targeting scalable and replicable projects on poverty and hunger eradication, education, gender equality, child and maternal health, HIV/AIDS prevention and care, environmental sustainability, and global partnerships.
Despite fast-paced changes in South-South Cooperation, the Fund’s structure is still considered innovative and unique. The Fund unites the vision and commitment of the three founding countries with the capacity of the UN Office for South-South Cooperation, hosted by UNDP, which acts as the fund manager and board of directors’ secretariat, and of UNDP. It executes projects through partnerships with UNDP Country Offices, other UN agencies, national institutions, and local governments.
UNDP itself currently serves as an implementing partner in eighteen of the 24 IBSA projects, with the Food and Agriculture Organization, UN Population Fund, and World Health Organization implementing the remaining six, alongside non-governmental organisations.
The UN development system remains strongly committed to the IBSA Fund and to continuing to serve and support the Fund to ensure its continued success. We will do this by continuing to offer exceptional service as an innovative fund manager and implementer.
South-South Cooperation with results
We will hear shortly from the Permanent Representatives of Cape Verde, Guyana, Sudan, and Vietnam who will describe how their countries have partnered with the IBSA Fund. To give a sense of how collaboration with UNDP is contributing to improved design and impact of partner countries’ initiatives supported by the IBSA Fund, allow me to highlight two specific examples:
– The UN Office on South-South Cooperation and UNDP Country Offices provide quality assurance services for the Fund’s managers. In the case of the IBSA project in Lao People’s Democratic Republic, this proved critical. Under the Fund’s Quality Assurance Mechanism, a large number of complex feasibility studies and community-level consultations were undertaken by UNDP to assist the Government to formulate a quality project proposal supporting agricultural irrigation. With the critical information in hand, the Government decided to focus on the rehabilitation and improvement of medium and small-scale irrigation schemes, particularly targeting those damaged by typhoons in 2011. As a result, more than 7,700 farmers have directly benefited through the provision of 630 hectares of irrigated land.
– In Guyana, the IBSA Fund, in partnership with the Government and the UNDP Country Office, is supporting national initiatives to improve solid waste management capacities. By mobilizing local partners, strengthening institutional frameworks, providing machinery and equipment for waste collection, and upgrading local markets, this collaborative project is improving sanitary conditions and providing increased employment opportunities that benefit construction workers, vendors and market-goers. In all, the IBSA Fund in Guyana is positively impacting the lives of more than 100,000 residents.
South-South principles and modalities
The IPSA Fund experience shows that prioritising national ownership and leadership and harnessing Southern ingenuity, expertise, and resources delivers good results. I warmly congratulate the Board of Directors and the many partners gathered here today on ensuring the Fund’s continuing success.
UNDP greatly values its partnership with the IBSA Fund, which we feel makes full and appropriate use of the UN development organisations to support South-South Co-operation. The Fund’s commitment to strong governance; its support to projects on a demand-driven basis; its emphasis on local partnerships; and its pursuit of meaningful and sustainable development results is a strategic approach to tackling development challenges.
UNDP looks forward to continuing its collaboration with the IBSA Fund, especially as we all strive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.