Nairobi/Toronto, 6 May 2022 -– United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and EMIF Group jointly announced the signing of a strategic agreement in support of the Cities Investment Facility (CIF) programme.

According to the agreement, CIF will establish a non-profit USD 50 million Feasibility Fund grant facility to support feasibility study and early-stage development work for critical urban infrastructure.

Additionally, EMIF Group will establish a for-profit USD 100 million blended-finance investment fund, acting as a CIF Cities Investment Vehicle (CIV), to complete remaining project preparation work from mid-stage development through to financial close.

“With a CIF pipeline of over 100 projects, we are eager for these initiatives to receive the necessary development support and funding to ensure the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals Action Agenda and bridge the annual greater-than USD 2 trillion shortfall in infrastructure spending within lesser developed regions across the globe,” said Neil Khor, UN Habitat’s Acting Chief of Staff.

“We have entered into this agreement with EMIF Group given its founding partners’ extensive history and expertise in preparing and financing infrastructure within frontier and emerging markets,” he added.

For his part, EMIF Group’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer John Safrance says he is pleased to “collaborate with UN-Habitat via the Cities Investment Facility to bridge the gap between critically needed municipal infrastructure and the sidelined global private capital seeking to fund the construction of these projects.”

He added: “Many cities across the developing world do not have access to the institutional knowledge required to ensure that the development of these projects is performed to international ESG standards, such as the Equator Principles, and bankability for project financiers. The CIF is an incredible tool capable of bringing together projects and funders to solve the historical challenges of project preparation in non-OECD regions.”

With a ground-breaking new model, CIF is tasked with ending the global municipal infrastructure gap - primarily within less developed regions across the globe. EMIF Group will establish a USD 100 million CIV fund to provide project preparation funding and advisory oversight to municipal infrastructure projects that have been developed through the CIF.

Prior to EMIF Group’s engagement and funding disbursement, the projects receive feasibility support from CIF’s Cities Investment Advisory Platform (CIAP), which provides the early technical, environmental & social, financial, and stakeholder capacity building effort. This work will be supported through the establishment of a donor-funded $50 million Feasibility Fund. 


About UN-Habitat

The UN-Habitat’s vision of “a better quality of life for all in an urbanizing world” is bold and ambitious. UN-Habitat works with partners to build inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities. We promote urbanization as a positive transformative force for people and communities, reducing inequality, discrimination and poverty.


About the Cities Investment Facility

The Cities Investment Facility (CIF) is an innovative, multi-stakeholder initiative centered around unlocking investment in urban infrastructure projects in low- and middle-income countries that have traditionally struggled with project preparation and bankability. The CIF aims to direct a significant amount of capital toward financing infrastructure projects that are inclusive, aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and masterplan integrated.


About EMIF Group          

EMIF Group is founded on the principal and mission to bridge the annual $3.2 trillion dollar investment gap between international capital providers and the much needed critical and impactful infrastructure in non-OECD regions. With seventy years of combined experience, our investment team has extensive direct experience developing and financing infrastructure projects in non-OECD countries.