The Unidad Para el Cambio Rural (Unit for Rural Change, UCAR) is a national entity located in Argentina, specifically a government agency within a ministry, which is responsible for implementing environmental and social (E&S) sustainable projects financed totally or partially by external resources at the national and provincial levels. UCAR offers a wide variety of public investments in rural services and infrastructure through grants, concessional loans and guarantees. UCAR, in partnership with national stakeholders, has a strategy in place to support national sustainable development and growth, particularly in the forestry, agriculture, sugar industry, fisheries, aquaculture, training and innovation sectors. UCAR recently has a climate change project portfolio worth more than US$ 467.5 million: taking into account programmes related to increasing adaptive capacities, the portfolio of UCAR is worth over US$ 1.3 billion. Accreditation to the GCF provides an opportunity for UCAR to: incorporate a climate change focus into all of its projects/programmes; further develop adaptation projects in its existing programmes; work on maximizing the impact of the funds; and continue to incorporate gender-focused E&S benefits into projects/programmes.
This Unit manages the Ministry of Agroindustry’s public investment portfolio of internationally financed programs and projects, which promote and facilitate equitable development in rural areas. UCAR’s actions are carried out on the following three cornerstones:
INFRASTRUCTURE FOR AGRIFOOD PRODUCTION: Equitable development is possible only if there are public infrastructure and production services available to everyone and properly distributed throughout the country. Irrigation is an investment priority of the country’s development strategy, which also includes investment for rural roads, power lines and Internet connectivity.
AGRIFOOD DEVELOPMENT AND SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES: Equitable development needs differential policies so that all of the stakeholders—from big to small farming operations, men and women, young and older people—can access the same work and investment opportunities. Actions are geared toward promoting and supporting activities of the private sector; the transfer of technology; non-repayable contributions (subsidies) to complement private investment; creation and consolidation of production clusters; strengthening of small and medium companies and farmers’ organizations; development of agricultural insurance products; and promotion of renewable energy sources and sustainable techniques to reduce vulnerability to climate change.
COORDINATION OF STRATEGICAL PUBLIC SECTOR POLICIES: Equitable development requires ongoing public actions as well. The first two pillars are achieved through strategic development planning, continuous training of human resources, the renewal and regular adjustment of the portfolio of programs and projects, and a permanent dialogue with all of the institutional actors in the communities and at different governmental levels.