Press Release

Kenya’s Adolescents the Winners as United Nations Joint SDG Fund Doubles its Portfolio to $114 Million in Catalytic Impact Investments  

15 February 2022

Nairobi Today, the United Nations Joint Sustainable Development Goals Fund (JSDGF) in New York announced a historic expansion of its portfolio to five new markets across the globe with US $54.5 million in additional investments to rescue the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).   

Selected from a global pool of submissions from over 100 countries, the proposals submitted by Kenya, Madagascar, North Macedonia, Suriname, and Zimbabwe emerged as the strongest, most impactful, and investment-ready to take public.  

The investments constitute an ambitious and concerted response by the UN to the challenges of our generation: from health in a world still plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic to youth empowerment to climate change. Under the leadership of UN Resident Coordinators, implementation of these programmes will fuel the UN footprint in the five nations, ushering in a new generation of collaborative action across the UN, Governments, civil society, and private sector investors.   

According to Dr. Stephen Jackson, the UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya,

“Vulnerable adolescent girls are amongst those at most risk of being left behind anywhere in the world.  Our programme on Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health will help Kenya reach vulnerable adolescent girls with Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) and HIV services to achieve gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment, reaching the furthest behind first. We’ll be helping Kenya blend public and private investment to push forward work in an area as delicate and sensitive as it is crucial to advancing Kenya’s youth”. 

This announcement comes less than one year after the Fund launched its first investment of US $41 million in four transformative programmes in Fiji, Indonesia, Malawi, and Uruguay. In 2021, a US $17.9 million programme in Papua New Guinea was added, and with the addition of these five new programmes, the Joint SDG Fund’s Catalytic Investment portfolio will grow to US $114 million. The portfolio is expected to leverage US $5 billion toward the SDGs across the 10 programmatic countries.   

In partnership with development banks and local financial institutions, Kenya’s newly created programme will support the scale up of the world’s first Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) development impact bond in Kenya that promises to not only transform adolescent health outcomes in Kenya but also open up endless opportunities for private and public investment, in public health. 

Recognizing the immense support in the implementation of the UN joint programme initiatives, the JSDGF is exceedingly grateful for the level of cooperation from the dynamic inter-agency team in Kenya comprising of the SDG Partnership Platform Kenya at UNRCO, UNFPA, WHO, UNAIDS,CIFF, Triggerise and KOIS, as well as the Government of Kenya through the Ministry of Health, Council of Governors, participating county governments. 

The Fund also marks its sincere appreciation for the contributions from the European Union and Governments of Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Monaco, Kingdom of Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and our private sector funding partners, this milestone marks a transformative movement towards achieving the SDGs by 2030.

(United Nations Capital Development Fund, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Children's Fund, United Nations Population Fund, International Labour Organization, World Food Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization, International Organization for Migration, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, International Fund for Agricultural Development, UNAIDS, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, UN Women, World Health Organization and World Meteorological Organization.)    

About: The UN Joint SDG Fund is a multi-partner trust fund established by the United Nations General Assembly. The Fund supports UN member states by de-risking investments that drive financing solutions to accelerate achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our goal is to disburse US$ 1 billion in grants annually in the race to 2030. All programmes share one critical element: their ability to leverage multi-million-dollar grants from the Joint SDG Fund into billions for sustainable development. Learn more:  

UN entities involved in this initiative

United Nations Resident Coordinator Office
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
United Nations Population Fund
World Health Organization

Goals we are supporting through this initiative