By, Adam Boehler, Chief Executive Officer, and Andrew Herscowitz, Chief Development Officer, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation
Six months after U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) launched, the new agency has established a strong track record of supporting investment in these places that are most in need of capital, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As this fact sheet shows, almost three-quarters of the projects DFC has approved since January were in low income and lower-middle income countries, or in fragile states. Looking ahead to pipeline projects that are likely to move forward before the end of the fiscal year, DFC is on track to surpass its goal of 60 percent of its investments being in low-income or lower-middle income countries, as well as fragile states.
New DFC investments include a solar power plant in Malawi, which has one of the lowest rates of electrification in the world, and a project to bolster marine conservation in Kenya. We are also providing financing to advance small business lending in Guatemala, and to promote sustainable use of key resources including food and water in India. DFC has also responded swiftly to the pandemic through investments in multiple healthcare projects. For example, financing for a medical technology company will help to deliver life-saving equipment to many of Africa’s poorest countries including Benin, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
These projects support multiple U.S. Government and agency initiatives to address the world’s greatest development needs, including DFC’s 2X Women’s Initiative, Power Africa, Prosper Africa, and DFC’s Global Health and Prosperity Initiative. In addition, many of these project fall under DFC’s Portfolio for Impact and Innovation, which invests up to $900 million in early-stage social enterprises.
Further, using DFC’s new Impact Quotient (IQ) tool, we screen our projects to more meaningfully evaluate the development impact they will have. DFC designed IQ to accurately assess the impact of our projects on the people and communities of the developing world. To date, more than three-quarters of the projects the agency has approved have scored as “highly developmental,” meaning they are targeted to benefit the most vulnerable populations.