Rallying the UN development system to fight climate change and SDG financing in Egypt

As the UN Resident Coordinator in Egypt, the country hosting this year’s UN Climate Change Conference (COP27), Ms. Elena Panova is leading the UN development system through a critical moment in the climate action agenda - to mobilize global solidarity needed to get the world back on track to meet the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement.  

  • With 25 different UN entities involved, the Resident Coordinator serves to streamline interactions as the main interlocutor between the Government and the entire UN system. This has reduced transactions costs and enabled more effective engagement, helping inform the government’s initiatives for COP27 and placing climate action front and center in UN’s new programme of cooperation with the government, the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (2023 – 2027) 

  • The Resident Coordinator is also the key connector between action in country and at the global level, co-leading the Global Task Team on Climate Change with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for Climate Action.  

  • With an overview of and access to all the mechanisms and assets of the UN, the Resident Coordinator has been able to galvanize support from across the system to provide the requested support on identification of best practice on climate change adaptation in Africa, leveraging the financial and technical resources of the UN through the ‘Opportunity and Issue Based Coalition on Climate’, created as part of a new UN regional architecture.   

To support the government on financing of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the Resident Coordinator is working to strengthen partnerships with the International Financial Institutions (IFIs).  Facilitating a space for UN expertise to help the authorities build capacity to engage in innovative instruments like ‘green bonds’ and providing technical assistance around issues such as climate debt, are just some of the ways the Resident Coordinator is contributing to bridge gaps in SDG financing.  

  • With the support of the economist in her team, the Resident Coordinator co-chairs regular strategic dialogues with International Financial Institutions together with the World Bank representative. In 2021, the World Bank approved a US$360 million Development Policy Financing loan to support Egypt’s post-pandemic recovery on the basis of a package of policy reforms in country that valued the UN's analysis of vulnerability. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is now considering parallel financing of the same amount using the same agreed package of policy reforms.  

Read the Case Study on coordination results in Egypt here. 

Arab States

Elena Panova

Resident Coordinator in Egypt