New York, 19 April 2023: The Government of Pakistan unveiled a diversified portfolio of climate-resilient investments worth $2.84 billion at the UN SDG Investment Fair 2023, held in New York on 18th - 20th April. At the event, Pakistan also launched its first-ever SDG Investor Map 2023 - a dynamic impact intelligence tool that identifies market-specific investment opportunities for SDG-aligned capital deployment, backed by country data and evidence.
Pakistan Federal Secretary Finance, Mr. Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh, and UNDP Pakistan Senior Advisor Financing for Development, Mr. Haroon Sharif, presented the portfolio, curated in partnership with UNDP. The portfolio comprises of a private placement and asset-backed climate bond ($1.5 billion), support to the microfinance sector for lending to the most vulnerable ($487 million), a proposed financial sector alliance for climate financing ($500 million), and a select portfolio of green private sector projects ($356 million).
“We are cognizant of Pakistan’s current macroeconomic challenges,” said Mr. Tariq Bajwa, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Finance, Government of Pakistan, in his virtual keynote address at a special session convened on Pakistan entitled, ‘Advancing Pakistan’s Climate Resilience by Catalysing Innovative SDGs Financing’, at the Fair. “As Pakistan recovers from the devastating impact of the 2022 floods, the Government of Pakistan is prioritizing efforts to mobilize financing for development to not only support long-term recovery and reconstruction efforts, but also to achieve inclusive economic growth aligned with SDGs.”
Mr. Bajwa also iterated the Government of Pakistan’s intent to begin working on a country Integrated National Financing Framework in continued partnership with UNDP.
The session was attended by senior officials from the Government of Pakistan, UNDP, UNDESA, as well as leading representatives from the international private sector, financial institutions, multilateral and bilateral entities, as well as networks of banks, investors, development agencies, and advisory partners.
Moderated by UNDP Director, Sustainable Finance Hub, Mr. Marcos Neto, the session was also addressed by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Munir Akram; Mr. Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh, Federal Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan; Ms. Kanni Wignaraja, UNDP Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific; and Mr. Navid Hanif, UN DESA Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development.
From the private sector, Mr. Muhammad Aurangzeb, CEO & President, Habib Bank Limited Pakistan; Syed Mohsin Ahmed, CEO, Pakistan Microfinance Network; and Ms. Faheen Allibhoy, Managing Director, Development Finance Institution, JP Morgan, spoke on the occasion.
“The Government of Pakistan faces the twin challenge of debt management and floods recovery, which is why we need to look at innovative financing solutions for sustainable and inclusive development,” said Ms. Kanni Wignaraja, UNDP Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific. “We are looking to our private sector and capital market partners to lean-in and invest towards long term sustainability and wise business gains over time, rather than quick wins”.
Launching the SDG Investor Map, Ambassador Munir Akram, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, stated: “This Map highlights bankable investment opportunities for Pakistan, which can lead to a reduced trade deficit, transitions to alternate energy, a robust infrastructure, and enhanced food security in the country.”
Mr. Navid Hanif, UN DESA Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, said, “It is time to redouble our efforts to increase investment in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDG Investment Fair provides an inclusive platform for doing so by promoting innovative partnerships for mobilizing private capital. It is encouraging that Pakistan is presenting innovative proposals to attract private capital to drive its sustainable and climate resilient growth in the aftermath of the floods.”
Marcos Neto, UNDP Director, Sustainable Finance Hub, stated, “A focus on innovative financing is crucial, as it can provide long-term funding for sustainable development projects and initiatives, ultimately contributing to the achievement of the SDGs and creating a more sustainable future for all.”
The Pakistan portfolio was made possible with the support of the SDG Investments and Climate Financing Facility, jointly set up by the Ministry of Finance and UNDP Pakistan in 2022. As part of UNDP Pakistan’s Financing for Development portfolio, the Facility identifies, develops, and leverages high-impact SDG-aligned and climate financing value propositions to attract investments.
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