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Pradeep Kurukulasuriya appointed Executive Secretary of UN Capital Development Fund

April 18, Colombo (LNW): Pradeep Kurukulasuriya of Sri Lankan origin has been appointed as the Executive Secretary for the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the UN’s catalytic finance entity for developing countries.

In his new role, Kurukulasuriya will focus on enhancing UNCDF’s capability to mobilise finance for development impact, particularly in Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

This involves leveraging UNCDF’s unique investment mandate to blend grants, loans, and guarantees, alongside advisory services.

Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator and Managing Director for UNCDF, highlighted the critical role of UNCDF in addressing last-mile challenges in deploying finance, particularly in high-risk market conditions.

He expressed confidence in Kurukulasuriya’s leadership to strengthen UNCDF’s ability to mobilise private capital for development where it is needed most.

Kurukulasuriya emphasised the urgency of advancing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and addressing the needs of developing countries, especially LDCs.

He expressed his commitment to working collaboratively with UN agencies, governments, donors, and the private sector to accelerate progress towards the SDGs and the Doha Programme of Action for Least Developed Countries.

Kurukulasuriya’s strategic priorities include optimising UNCDF’s investment mandate to maximise development finance for LDCs, enhancing internal risk management and oversight practices, and strengthening partnerships with UN agencies, governments, and the private sector.

With his extensive experience in environmental finance and climate change adaptation, Kurukulasuriya brings valuable expertise to his new role.

His previous roles include overseeing multi-billion-dollar portfolios across 140 countries and leading UNDP’s Nature, Climate, and Energy Practice.

Kurukulasuriya expressed enthusiasm about collaborating with colleagues across UN agencies and leveraging UNCDF’s financial instruments to support diverse development priorities, including infrastructure, water, sanitation, and education.

As the new Executive Secretary, Kurukulasuriya aims to uphold UNCDF’s commitment to working in countries traditionally overlooked in capital markets, with a focus on ensuring that no one is left behind in the pursuit of sustainable development.

Kurukulasuriya holds a Ph.D. from Yale University and has held various leadership positions in UNDP, the World Bank, and NGOs in Sri Lanka.

His appointment reflects UNCDF’s dedication to mobilising finance for inclusive and sustainable development globally.

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