The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, announced on Tuesday the launch of a $17.5 million blended finance investment facility that aims to help de-risk and improve the financial viability of high-impact projects benefitting Forcibly Displaced Populations (FDPs) and their host communities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The finance will be launched in partnership with the government of the Netherlands.
This facility complements the IFC’s existing agreement with the government of the Netherlands under prospects to provide advisory services, bringing the total amount of funding provided by the IFC to $47 million.
The new blended finance facility targets unlocking and catalysing private sector financing for innovative and scalable investments that will create solutions to address economic and social challenges faced by FDPs and host communities, as well as demonstrate commercial viability of refugee-focused investments, according to the IFC.
It also seeks to de-risk investments, alleviate first-mover costs, and develop a pipeline of concrete investment opportunities to create new markets where involvement of the private sector is currently nascent.
The IFC said that the UNHCR estimated nearly 80 million FDPs worldwide by the end of 2019, 85 percent of whom are being hosted in developing countries with limited resources.
It added that the new blended finance facility is part of the Prospects Partnership Initiative (Prospects) that aims to transform the way governments and other stakeholders, including the private sector, respond to these growing — and protracted — forced displacement crises.
Prospects supports refugees and host communities in eight countries worldwide, including Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Sudan, and Uganda.
“Forced displacement crises have increased in scale and complexity in recent years and have become more protracted. Action is urgently needed to support host countries through joint initiatives for burden-sharing,” said Warner Ten Katethe, head of the Migration and Forced Displacement Unit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
Prospects brings together the IFC, government of the Netherlands, International Labor Organisation, UNHCR, UNICEF, and World Bank to provide a unique combination of humanitarian assistance, longer-term development support, and private sector solutions, in a bid to help refugees rebuild their lives and support themselves and their families.