The Maldives Minister of Finance has formally endorsed the Maldives Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF). The Maldives INFF delivers a comprehensive financing strategy on climate action and provides a set of highly action-oriented strategies to unlock both domestic and external resources; from the private sector, international financing institutions, philanthropic, and impact and cause-driven sources of financing, to augment and scale-up existing public sources of financing towards climate and social sector financing needs.
The strategy aims to support the financing of the Maldives Strategic Action Plan (2019-2023), Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and other national and sectoral development plans to enable the achievement of the national and international climate and sustainable development commitments made by the country. The INFF is a core priority identified in the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2022-2026 between the UN and the Government of Maldives. The financing strategy puts achieving gender-equality at the heart of all financing actions, as an important cross-cutting theme and provides specific policy options to ensure that the actions proposed under the strategy are gender-sensitive.
Following the launch of the INFF, Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer announced the intention to establish the Maldives Climate Finance Hub (MCFH) within the Ministry of Finance, with the technical assistance of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as the primary mechanism to implement the financing strategy and provide overall technical expertise to the Ministry of Finance and other relevant sector ministries and agencies on climate finance matters. An Advisory Board will be established with representation from national and international stakeholders, to provide advice and guidance to the MCFH.
The INFF is a global UN initiative being implemented in more than 86 countries worldwide to finance National Development Plans (NDPs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There are currently 18 Small Developing Island States (SIDS) developing their own INFFs and today, the Maldives becomes the first SIDS country to develop and formally endorse an INFF and financing strategy.
Speaking at the INFF launch, Minister Ameer stated, “This financing strategy will advance the Maldives climate agenda, to transform our economy away from fossil fuel dependency, strengthen resilience to external shocks, and drive existing and new investments towards sustainable and inclusive growth.”
The development of the Maldives INFF began under the leadership of the Ministry of Finance in June 2020. Through a United Nations Joint Programme led by the UN Resident Coordinator, UNDP Maldives provided technical advisory to the Ministry of Finance to develop the INFF. The process of INFF development was spearheaded by a high-level Steering Committee consisting of 13 Government agencies, co-chaired by the Honorable Minister of Finance of the Maldives, Ibrahim Ameer and by the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Catherine Haswell. The INFF is the result of an extensive consultative process whereby, stakeholders from public, private, NGOs, industry bodies and IFIs provided support and input.
United Nations Resident Coordinator Catherine Haswell noted the importance of the delivery of this work, in the context of intergovernmental negotiations for the next COP on Climate Action in Egypt in November 2023, the currently ongoing meeting on the Global Goal for Adaptation (GGA) being hosted by the Maldives, the 2023 UN Water Conference (22-24 March), and the SDG Summit in New York in September. Moreover, it is a critical piece which demonstrates the expertise and role of the UN in upper middle-income countries as a provider of integrated policy advice with the potential to unlock a series of portfolios which can accelerate delivery of the 2030 Agenda.
UNDP Resident Representative in the Maldives, Enrico Gaveglia congratulated Minister Ameer, and stated, “You have often been confronted with denial of market access because of unfavorable demographic accounting or the so-called economies of scale. I can assure you, if we all manage to put a value tag to your natural resources, you’d leapfrog to be the holder of a global natural asset that shall be safeguarded with all our efforts simply because it benefits all – you in Maldives and elsewhere.”
This collaboration between United Nations and the Ministry of Finance continues the value-added joint effort in enhancing the parallel implementation of the Maldives’ development agenda, and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Gender-Responsive Integrated Climate Financing Strategy endorsed by the Government of Maldives can be accessed at https://www.finance.gov.mv/public/attachments/lzyzZHIHy0ZWB7Yl17aw16YkFhE5o8DfVxThmruO.pdf