This is the sixth time that the GEF invites GEF Partner Agencies to submit proposals and investment opportunities under the GEF-7 Non-Grant Instrument (NGI) Program. The previous five calls for proposals announced under the GEF-7 NGI Program resulted in the approval of nine projects as of November 2021, for an amount of USD 119.6.
If the one project to be presented in the December 2021 Council was to be approved, the total projects under the NGI portfolio would increase to ten with a total amount of USD 126.1 million. Additional USD 15 million are expected to be added to the USD 10 million remaining funds of the originally approved USD 136 M for the GEF-7 blended finance envelope during the end of the GEF-7 cycle and ahead of the GEF-8 Replenishment, bringing the total size of the remaining funds under the NGI for this call for proposals to USD 25 million.
The maximum financing amount per project/program is USD 15 million. In exceptional cases innovative proposals with the potential to demonstrate impact at scale may request funding exceeding USD 15 million. An initial list of non-grant instruments for blended finance includes:
- risk mitigation products (guarantees and structured finance) or;
- equity instruments as noted in Policy – Non-Grant Instruments,
- Proposals must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the NGI Program financing:
- Geography: project beneficiaries must be in eligible GEF recipient countries;
- GEF Partner Agency eligibility requirements: the GEF will accept proposals submitted by Partner Agencies that are eligible to administer concessional finance as described in the Guidelines of Project and Cycle Policy. The Partner Agencies will also be required to comply with the reflows procedures established in their respective Financial Procedures Agreement with the GEF Trustee.
- Modalities: middle-sized projects, full-sized projects and programs; Non-grant instruments: include but are not limited to:
- risk mitigation products or
- equity instruments disclosed in Policy – Non-Grant Instruments, FI/PL/02, October 10, 2014;
- Alignment with GEF-7 programming directions
The selection criteria will focus on the following:
- Scalability. Specific emphasis will be placed in financial structures or investment platforms aimed at scaling-up proposals beyond a “one-by one” projects. PartnerAgencies are encouraged to submit a transaction diagram in the Project Justification or Programmatic Justification sections of the PIF/PFD respectively.
- Investment platforms that combine grant and non-grant investment services;
- Capital markets transactions;
- Structured finance;
- Investments aligned with GEF-7 Impact Programs, such as value chains in agribusiness and commodities.
- Appropriate and enhanced co-financing ratios in line with the intended impact of the proposal and in the context of each focal area and country capacity;
- Attractive financial terms. Each proposal will be requested to submit a termsheet with indicative terms and conditions. Agencies can use their own termsheet, or use the template;
- High financial additionality. In the termsheet, each proposal must specify:
- the financing barriers addressed with the GEF blended finance resources and
- quantification of financial additionality;
- Capacity to generate reflows. Any financial returns/gains/interests earned on non-grant instruments, will be transferred to the GEF Trust Fund as noted in the Guidelines on the Project and Program Cycle Policy. Additional detailed information on reflows will be required ahead of CEO endorsement.
- Innovative financial solutions. These include but are not limited to: digital and technology solutions for environmental protection, platforms linking major suppliers and consumers in the supply chain, fintech, blockchain, special purpose vehicles, or multi-stakeholder platforms, among others.
- Global environmental benefits. Proposals will be evaluated based on their contribution to GEF focal areas, Impact Programs and their capacity to generate global environmental benefits.
For more information, visit https://www.thegef.org/documents/sixth-call-proposals-gef-7-non-grant-instrument-program