How DFC will play a key role in advancing President Biden’s Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment
By Andrew Herscowitz
Last month at G7, President Biden announced the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII), a bold commitment to dramatically scale up investment in emerging market infrastructure projects. DFC is proud to play a key role in helping countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America build the modern infrastructure needed to support economic growth and provide access to critical services from healthcare to novel technology.
Together with other G7 members, the U.S. pledge fits into a $600 billion investment by the world’s leading democracies to close critical gaps in infrastructure, improve access to information and communications technology (ICT), bolster health security, and address gender equity. Historically, infrastructure has been underfunded internationally with over $40 trillion in estimated need in developing countries — exacerbated by a lack of quality financing options in low- and middle-income countries. DFC and private investors are working together to finance new infrastructure projects that will expand access to healthcare and other critical services, as well as advance economic progress.
DFC’s participation in PGII will build on a long legacy of investing in high-quality infrastructure projects in emerging markets around the world. DFC recently provided financing to support the expansion of Georgia’s Poti Sea Port and has supported multiple projects to expand access to electricity and technology.
Some of the key areas of focus going forward will include:
Increasing access to life-changing vaccinations for COVID-19 and other diseases in Africa
In Senegal, DFC is contributing $3.3 million in technical assistance to a $14 million grant financing package assembled by development finance institutions to Institut Pasteur de Dakar (IPD) to help kickstart the development of an industrial-scale multi-vaccine manufacturing facility capable of producing millions of doses per year. Capitalizing on bold scientific advances in viral vector and mRNA technologies, the facility helps expand access to lifesaving vaccines in Africa, where current vaccination rates are the lowest in the world.
Expanding renewable energy capacity and supply chain transparency
DFC is providing First Solar, the largest American solar manufacturing company, with $500 million in debt financing for its photovoltaic manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, India. First Solar’s photovoltaic cells avoid using polysilicon, ensuring renewable energy investments follow its strong ethical guidelines. The growing solar market in India represents a key opportunity to make climate finance high-impact, especially as renewables have proven to be cost-competitive with fossil fuels.
Expanding women’s healthcare services
Early diagnosis is key to increasing success rates of medical treatment. DFC’s $31 million loan to Femme Brazil hones in on a health equity gap for low-income women in and around São Paulo, expanding their access to diagnostic screening. With its 2X Women’s Initiative, DFC is working to make healthcare more accessible to women worldwide. DFC’s Femme investment is projected to help the company serve over four million women, 15 times its current capacity.
Helping entrepreneurs access financing
DFC expects to invest up to $30 million in India’s Omnivore Agritech and Climate Sustainability Fund, as well as up to $25 million in Uhuru Growth Fund in West Africa. Growth capital is central to unlocking the immense local talent and development potential in every emerging market. As such, DFC is eager to help make local entrepreneurship not only viable but sustainable long-term with its commitments. Alongside mobilized private capital, these investments will be crucial to promoting sustainable consumption, increasing smallholder farmer profitability, building women-led companies, and more.
To meet the ambitious development targets outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), more than $5 trillion in investment will be required annually — a funding gap that only gets more pervasive. Funding critical public health services, transportation networks, energy grids, and more is key to global development. DFC’s mission of financing solutions to global challenges is more important than ever, and our work as part of PGII is just one more valuable piece of that puzzle.
Andrew Herscowitz is Chief Development Officer at the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation.