I take this opportunity to present/share our achievements and vision for SAARC Development fund (SDF).
As in previous years, the Fund had pursued its activities with objective of assisting the SAARC Member States with their endeavors to achieve their development goals and further improve the standard of living of their people and societies.
The Fund is to serve as the umbrella financial institution for SAARC projects and programs which are in fulfillment of the objectives of the SAARC Charter. SDF has three funding windows viz. Social, Economic and Infrastructure.
Social Window primarily funds projects, inter alia, on poverty alleviation, social development focusing on education; health; human resources development; support to vulnerable/disadvantaged segments of the society; funding needs of communities, microenterprises, rural infrastructure development.
SDF is currently implementing thirteen regional projects with 80 implementing and lead implementing agencies covering all the eight Member States under the Social Window funding. The SDF Secretariat has already committed USD 82.61 million for social window projects as of date out of which it has disbursed USD 40.54 million to the Member States as of November 30, 2016.
We intend to operationalize Economic and Infrastructure windows by lending/co lending for significant projects of the region which would benefit two or more countries of the SAARC region and meet the goals of regional integration and cooperation. In this direction SDF is in process of evaluating bankable projects which meet the requirements specified by SDF charter and will help in achieving/improving regional integration, economic cooperation and connectivity.
We plan to increase our engagements for cooperation and international collaboration with other financial institutions, multilateral organizations and Banks in an effort to make SDF a vibrant and more effective funding institution across the SAARC region. The objective of this exercise is to implement a comprehensive strategy for the SDF to:
Lend to significant projects which meet the requirements of SAARC region. This would include various steps like co financing, refinancing, investments etc.
Mobilization of funds-SDF also simultaneously plans to raise funds so that its lending strength is in a position to meet the infrastructure, economic and social needs of the region.
Fund deployment for achieving results in all the three windows i.e Economic, Infrastructure and Social.
International collaborations with other Multilateral institutions, Development organizations and Banks to ensure that programmes and projects achieve significant impact
Activate and operationalize
Social Enterprises Development Programme –
Funding to Social Enterprises vide Social Enterprises Development Programme (SEDP) – proposed scheme is to fund 10 enterprises in each SAARC member State annually and
Line of Credit to Financial Institutions for Medium and Small Scale Enterprises
Providing Lines of credit to Financial Institutions for meeting the fund requirements of Medium and Small Scale Enterprises requirements vide the MSME scheme
Project Development Facility Setting up Project Development Facility in SDF for identifying and developing priority projects.
SDF has also taken a number of initiatives for strategic growth of South Asian region. Important among these is to forge relationships with multilateral and domestic institutions in SAARC Member States for taking up joint initiative and also co-funding of projects. We are also working towards strengthening and positioning SDF as a catalyst funding organization for SAARC region. SAARC region´s diversity provides huge opportunities for trade, investment, and economic growth. The region´s remarkable success in recent decades demonstrates this. Geographically, the SAARC region is very wide and heterogeneous. There are, however, challenges to the SAARC Member States to maintain the regional integration and connectivity. One of the best solutions to such challenges is to strengthen regional connectivity and trade facilitation which would further support the regional economic integration. SDF remains committed to supporting the development of SAARC region as it tackles the evolving challenges.
Dr. Sunil Motiwal Chief Executive Officer SAARC Development Fund