The Cuban financial panorama is marked by unstable, undiversified and unsustainable access to sources to finance development. Given the existence of a limited and narrow range of financing sources (family remittances, foreign direct investment, bilateral credits, official development aid), the country depends on current flows, especially exports, to finance production, public services, infrastructure and development. This is a particularly adverse context, despite being a middle-income nation.
In recent years, the intensification of the North American blockade, the impacts of the international crisis associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict in Eastern Europe, as well as the accumulation of internal imbalances have sharpened the restrictions on financing for development and the need to access new sources of financing, public and private, national and international, traditional and innovative.
In this context, the joint program “Support for the creation of a National Integrated Financing Framework for the SDGs in Cuba” (CIFFRA) was developed as part of the more than 70 initiatives of the SDG Fund of the United Nations.
It was carried out by the United Nations System in Cuba, through the Subregional Headquarters in Mexico of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and counted with the participation of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). ) and the Resident Coordination Office (OCR). Its objective is to contribute to the development of an Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) as a tool to plan, define and evaluate financial policies sensitive to gender, useful to improve their effectiveness and promote the mobilization of resources for the achievement of the Development Objectives. Sustainable (SDG).
CIFFRA is part of the United Nations family of Integrated Country Development Financing Frameworks (INFF).. These tools allow countries to develop strategies to increase investment, manage risks, and increase the coherence of financing policies, among themselves and with national development plans.
As part of this concept, CIFFRA proposed to evaluate and rethink the policy strategies aimed at increasing, diversifying and optimizing the sources of financing for development in Cuba. From July 2020 to March 2023 (33 months) CIFFRA carried out an extensive program of diagnostic exercises and recommendations on development financing policies in the country. The process was deeply participatory and had a high commitment from the Cuban authorities and close coordination between the participating United Nations agencies (ECLAC as the lead agency, UNDP and the Resident Coordinator’s office).
An extensive process of research and debate with authorities, academics, and experts allowed the preparation of 25 strategic documents and 5 new methodological tools, as well as carrying out 30 training seminars and/or presentation of results.
Based on these inputs, CIFFRA made a proposal for an Integrated National Financing Framework for Cuba, based on 5 strategic pillars. The proposal contains more than 100 policy recommendations, with an emphasis on promoting exports and foreign direct investment, financing productive transformation, attracting and channeling remittances, and governance mechanisms for the development financing strategy. . In turn, 4 tools were developed for the modernization of public finances.
In addition to the valuable technical recommendations and the creation of tools for strengthening public management, CIFFRA made important contributions: i) it allowed a more holistic approach to the debates on financing for development in the country, ii) it promoted public debate- private sector and with national actors for the generation of consensus, iii) contributed to consolidate good practices for joint work among the agencies of the United Nations system, and iv) made it possible to open space for new collaborative projects on financing for development and topics related.