The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
New partnership to kickstart major affordable housing project in Kenya via UNOPS social impact investing initiative
A new partnership between UNOPS and the Government of Kenya, inked today on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, is set to deliver 100,000 affordable homes in Kenya.
Part of UNOPS Social Impact Investing Initiative (S3i), the agreement is a major milestone in UNOPS commitment to fostering innovative financing for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS), and will help the Kenyan Government make significant inroads in achieving its sustainable development priorities.
“Ensuring that people have an adequate and sanitary place to call home is a prerequisite for enhancing social and economic opportunities, and stimulating economic growth and development,” said UNOPS Executive Director Grete Faremo.
“That’s why UNOPS has made affordable housing a core focus of its Social Impact Investing Initiative. We are proud to be working with the Government of Kenya to facilitate new kinds of investment in Kenya’s affordable housing sector and to help make its housing priorities a reality,” she said.
Under its ‘Affordable Housing Program’, the Government of Kenya aims to provide around half a million affordable houses for its citizens by 2022. President Kenyatta has expressed strong support for UNOPS engagement in the initiative, and has welcomed future agreements that will help to address Kenya’s housing needs.
"We are focusing on financing and investment frameworks that will unlock private sector financing. We are very excited about this project and we look forward to unlocking similar partnerships that will allow us to fulfil our duties as leaders and pave the way for adequate, decent, and affordable housing for Kenyans,” said President Kenyatta.
UNOPS Social Impact Investing Initiative seeks to de-risk and structure infrastructure investment projects in an effort to help attract financing from the private sector. Projects selected are subjected to a rigorous and comprehensive due diligence process that will ensure a positive environmental, social and economic impact, with above-market-rates financial returns.
As part of this agreement, UNOPS will seek to mobilize resources from its funding partners to support this initiative. UNOPS Executive Director Grete Faremo also announced an agreement with the Government of Ghana this week, which plans to deliver 100,000 affordable homes in that country.
"We know that developing economies will need large-scale investment to build sustainable infrastructure and achieve their sustainable development targets,” said Ms Faremo.
“By reducing the investment risk of development activities, and forging new partnerships between the private and public sectors, we can unleash new opportunities and resources that will help to accelerate progress towards the SDGs,” she said.