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New Delhi; 30 January 2018: The Rural Electrification Corporation Ltd. (REC) is a leading infrastructure finance company with a net worth of Rs. 35,145 crore. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is the UN population, reproductive health and rights agency working with governments and civil society across more than 150 countries and territories. In September, last year, the two giants inked a MoU to consolidate and direct REC’s social responsibility interventions, by leveraging UNFPA’s expertise in policy advocacy and programme implementation on population and development issues, especially those meant for vulnerable and marginalized populations. Today REC and UNFPA India signed a financing agreement to support a range of innovative projects across the country under CSR initiatives of REC. The agreement is for three years. The projects will be implemented and financed through REC Foundation, a Society established to undertake CSR initiatives of REC Ltd.

Dr. P.V. Ramesh, CMD REC, said “Corporate India’s commitment towards social development does not begin and end with providing funds for social responsibility. We are equally responsible for ensuring high return on investment on this part of our investment too. Our partnership with UNFPA will help usher in best-in-class standards into the way we plan, fund, monitor and evaluate CSR”.

The cluster of REC-UNFPA projects will address important issues like adolescent health, girls’ empowerment, life skills for adolescents, reproductive health, and rehabilitation of young people in conflict-impacted areas. Ensuring these projects have a large footprint, there will be backward and forward integration into flagship government programme at the national and state levels. Mr. Diego Palacios, UNFPA Representative, pointed out “strategic linkages to long-term programmes is essential to raise the sustainability quotient of CSR projects. Our close association with the government, large NGOs and national and international development agencies helps connect the dots”.

Innovations, especially in the area of tech, will be the hallmark of many of the projects being launched by the REC-UNFPA combine. The initial part of year one will be devoted to developing IT platforms, sourcing equipment, inducting and training teams on the ground. Stringent UNFPA guidelines and monitoring protocols will be used for all these processes.

From time to time, CSR Benchmark Conclaves will be hosted to share good practices with other like-minded PSUs, government agencies and civil society.