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Photo: Jason Mulikita for Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa

Special Funds

Nefco’s Special Funds area has specific mandates, including environmental and climate-related trust fund assignments from governments and agencies in the Nordics and beyond. These can be results-based financing or grant programmes that do not include investments from our own capital. 
The programmes aim to mobilise significant financing for new private investments in energy access, clean cooking and water protection, in line with the Paris Agreement.
Funds committed to the active portfolio in Special Funds
Environmental drivers of projects in Special Funds based on percentage of committed funds at the end of 2023
Sectors in Special Funds based on percentage of committed funds at the end of 2023

Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA)
Today, about 600 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa live without access to electricity. For most of them, connection to the grid is not likely to happen for decades, or longer. The multi-donor BGFA aims to reduce this gap by stimulating and accelerating new business models to incentivise the private sector to offer affordable and clean energy access at scale to people living in rural and peri-urban areas.
During their first year of operation (2022), the projects generated 38,519 energy service subscriptions, benefiting 200,400 people.

Visit www.beyondthegrid.africa for more information.
Modern Cooking Facility for Africa (MCFA)
MCFA will provide up to four million Africans with access to clean cooking solutions, mitigate climate change, improve overall health and increase economic growth. This will be achieved by financially incentivising Cooking Service Providers to offer affordable, high quality and energy-efficient clean cooking services and accelerating the creation of a long-term sustainable market.

Visit www.moderncooking.africa for more information.
Baltic Sea Action Plan Fund
(BSAP Fund)
The goal of the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) by HELCOM is to restore the ecological status of the Baltic marine environment. Since the establishment of the Baltic Sea Action Plan Fund in 2010, the fund has supported the completion of 51 projects, with 22 projects still ongoing. The ongoing projects mainly focus on biodiversity, forestry, hazardous substances, nutrient discharge and sea-based activities. By covering part of a project’s total costs, BSAP Fund grants not only help speed up the implementation of projects but also provide financial leverage.
The BSAP Fund is co-managed by Nefco and the Nordic Investment Bank.

Visit www.nefco.int/bsap for more information.

Women-owned company promoting modern clean cooking in Zimbabwe 

The first agreement signed by MCFA in 2023 was with a women-owned and led company in Zimbabwe selling biogas digesters to support the scale-up of clean and modern cooking solutions.
With the results-based financing provided by MCFA, the company aims to scale up its business activities by selling approximately 2,400 new biodigesters, providing over 6,000 clean cooking services. The new activities are expected to benefit up to 28,000 Zimbabweans in rural and peri-urban areas of the country. 
woman working with clean cooking in ZimbabweWomen using a portable Lanforce stove in rural Zimbawe Photo: Lanforce Energy


Surveying shipwrecks to reduce hazardous substances in the Baltic Sea

Shipwreck in estoniaShipwreck diving in the Baltic Sea. Photo: Erik Saanila
The Baltic Sea floor in Estonia contains more than 400 shipwrecks, which pose a potential threat to the health of the Baltic Sea, as they could contain fuel, ghost nets, explosives and other dangerous substances.
The Estonian Police and Border Guard Board received a grant from the Baltic Sea Action Plan Fund in 2022 to study up to ten wrecks that present a high risk of environmental pollution.
“Special Funds aims to mobilise significant financing for new private investments in energy access, clean cooking and water protection.”