Commitments to action

Sustainable Food Systems Finance

United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)

The Covid-19 pandemic has shed light on the fragility and unsustainability of global and local food systems and has accelerated the sense of urgency for bold commitments and actions towards the transformation of food systems to bring back SDG2 on track. Structural transformations towards sustainable, resilient, and equitable food systems include the way in which food is produced, accessed, distributed, valued, and consumed. Sustainable food systems require that economic, social, cultural, and environmental dimensions and their trade-offs be fully integrated into policy and investment planning. They also entail a shift from one-size-fits-all solutions to local and context-specific approaches.

Providing tailored and context-specific local finance solutions is often a key missing component in supporting transformation towards sustainable food systems that can boost economic prospects and create employment and livelihoods in the last mile in the least developed countries (LDCs), especially for women and youth.

The UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) has long experience in direct and indirect support for strengthened finance for food systems and food security in LDCs. Building on its experiences and strong overall financing capabilities and instruments, UNCDF will provide the following types of support, primarily to LDCs:

  • Promote public financing solutions and territorial approaches for investments in public infrastructure and services essential for local sustainable food systems, such as irrigation schemes, roads, energy infrastructure.
  • Design, pilot and enhance innovative private or blended finance mechanisms for local food supply chains towards more resilient food systems in LDCs and beyond.
  • Direct provision of catalytic grants, loans, and guarantees for municipal and SME investments that help unlock additional finance to advance food security and mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and other shocks.
  • Promote digital solutions and innovation for improved access to finance and other services for local producers and value chain participants (incl. for climate-smart agriculture). For example, UNCDF will deploy e-extension services to address traceability gaps that increase farmers’ capacity to access wholesalers and other buyers along the value chain. UNCDF will also support linkages between financial service providers and local savings groups as entry points for providing financial services to communities.
  • Work closely with the wider UN development system and relevant stakeholders for integrated solutions that leverage UNCDF’s financing capabilities in support of sustainable local food systems.



Action Area(s)

Build Resilience to Vulnerabilities, Shocks, and Stresses



Key contact

Katiella Mai Moussa, United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)
[email protected]


Blended Finance, Access to Finance, Sustainable Food Systems Finance


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