Press Release: DFC Achieves First Close of $100 Million Loan to WaterEquity’s Global Access Fund to Improve Access to Water and Sanitation
Transaction was first in accordance with the ICMA’s Sustainability Bond Guidelines and will expand access to water and sanitation for 5 million people in emerging markets, mostly women
U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) funded the first $25 million tranche of DFC’s $100 million loan to WaterEquity’s Global Access Fund, a $150 million impact investment vehicle targeting inclusive financial institutions in emerging markets to scale up water and sanitation microloan portfolios. DFC’s $100 million loan to WaterEquity’s Global Access Fund is enabling it to grow its impact and promote development outcomes. This catalytic financing is expected to empower at least five million people to access improved household water and sanitation across Asia, Latin America, and Africa.
“We are proud to work collaboratively with WaterEquity, which has pioneered a financially sustainable way to increase access to safe water and sanitation, especially for women and marginalized populations,” said Vice President of DFC’s Office of External Affairs and Head of Global Gender Initiatives Algene Sajery. “Through this loan, we are mobilizing impact-focused private capital into WaterEquity’s Global Access Fund and satisfying demand for investments with measurable development impact and market rate returns.”
Research shows that women spend a combined 200 million hours each day collecting water, turning the water crisis into a crisis of education, economic opportunity, climate resiliency, personal safety, dignity, and health. WaterEquity’s Global Access Fund advances DFC’s 2X Women’s Initiative, a commitment to unlock a multi-trillion dollar investment opportunity by addressing the unique challenges women in developing countries face in accessing loans.
“Ten percent of the world’s population lacks access to safe water, and one-quarter lacks access to a toilet,” said Paul O’Connell, President of WaterEquity. “The burden of this crisis falls disproportionately on women. We believe that capital markets offer the best way to increase access to safe water and sanitation, and we’re very pleased to have DFC as a partner in launching this latest fund.”
The loan was funded by issuing fixed income instruments in accordance with the ICMA Sustainability Bond guidelines. As the placement agent for the transaction, BofA Securities is managing the sale and pricing of the $100 million instruments.
“By scaling investment and utilizing capital to drive change, we can directly address issues like water scarcity, safe water and sanitation in emerging economies and make a positive difference in these communities,” said Karen Fang, head of Global Sustainable Finance at Bank of America.
This first disbursement coincides with the first close of WaterEquity’s Global Access Fund, which has to date secured $125 million in investments toward its $150 million total target capitalization.
Photo courtesy of United Nations Photo.