The Urban Poor Fund International is a SDI subsidiary, governed by Federation leaders, that provides capital to member national urban poor funds, who are affiliated to SDI. They in turn provide capital to savings federations undertaking important urban improvement and housing projects.
The Fund is established on the proposition that the poor are central actors in urban development and poverty eradication and are best able to decide and co-manage their own urban improvement programs. Giving the poor direct control of capital enables them to negotiate as an acknowledged potential partner with formal bodies such as government and banks.
SDI created the Urban Poor Fund International, in order to have a platform to access funds at the international level. When Federations strike deals at the national level, it can take time to receive funds from national government, or certain regulations may hold up the implementation of projects. UPFI can help bridge these funds in order to strengthen the hand of the Federations to negotiate and overcome these challenges. We can refer to this kind of role of the UPFI as “patient capital.”