Press Release: DFC Approves New Investments to Advance Sustainable Economic Development, Respond to COVID-19, and Advance Gender Equity
The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) Board of Directors at its quarterly meeting approved a $300 million investment that will advance inclusive economic development in Brazil. DFC approved 19 other sub-Board investments totaling nearly $350 million since its last quarterly Board meeting in December, advancing a total of $650 million in investments to support development impact, respond to the impacts of COVID-19, increase renewable energy and strengthen gender equity around the world.
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken serves as Chairman of the Board and presided over the meeting. He was joined by other U.S. government board members, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Vice Chair Acting Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Gloria Steele, and Acting Under Secretary of the Treasury Andy Baukol, along with DFC’s private sector Board members.
Secretary of State Blinken provided the following remarks: “President Biden said in his inaugural address that the United States will lead by the power of our example. Investing in development is one way we will do that. “We believe in creating opportunity for people here at home and around the world. We believe in investing in critical sectors that directly impact the quality of people’s lives, like healthcare, energy, technology, and infrastructure. We believe in working with our partners, not coercing them – that small businesses and women entrepreneurs are vital to a dynamic economy – and that the best investment is not only economically sound but also adheres to high standards, like protecting the environment and respecting human rights, including workers’ rights.”
Acting DFC CEO Dev Jagadesan provided the following remarks: “DFC’s investments this quarter reflect our strong focus on achieving development impact while working to increase liquidity and help small and medium-sized businesses, especially women-owned businesses, around the world respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through our investments, we are working to strengthen global health and sustainable economic growth in developing countries.”
Today’s Board meeting included the approval of a project that will empower women and address rural development gaps and income inequality in Brazil. Additional projects approved at the sub-board level this quarter advance key U.S. global development goals, including responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing renewable energy, and supporting gender equity.
65 percent of DFC’s projects approved this quarter will be deployed to low and lower-middle income countries, as well as fragile states.
Investments approved by the Board this quarter include:
- Expanding financing to women borrowers and SMEs in Brazil: A $300 million loan to BTG Pactual (BTG) will support lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with a focus on reaching the economically disadvantaged North and Northeast regions and women-owned and women-led businesses in Brazil. The project qualifies for DFC’s 2X Women’s Initiative by directly targeting women-owned/led SMEs throughout the country and through BTG’s ongoing commitment to promote and empower women in leadership within the bank.
Nineteen additional sub-Board projects were approved by DFC since its last quarterly Board meeting. These deals have been approved and DFC will now work closely with its counterparties toward their commitment and disbursement. Projects approved at the sub-Board level this quarter include:
- Investing in healthcare in the wake of COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa: A $18 million loan portfolio guaranty to the Medical Credit Fund through the Open Doors African Private Healthcare Initiative will support lending to healthcare small and medium-sized enterprises across Sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on those helping their communities treat and recover from COVID-19.
- Enabling working capital and financial technology across Central America: A $10 million direct loan to Financia Credit will help provide card and web-based payment and working capital solutions to help small and medium-sized enterprises in Central America grow.
- Helping social enterprises and women recover from COVID-19: A $37.5 million loan to the Global Partnerships Impact First Growth Fund will help social enterprises in Latin America, Africa, and select countries in Asia recover from the negative impact of COVID-19 and prepare for long-term growth opportunities. A majority of the ultimate beneficiaries will be women, who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The project qualifies for DFC’s 2X Women’s initiative.
- Expanding access to energy in Africa: A $10 million loan will enable Nithio FI B.V. to increase financing in the energy sector across Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda by leveraging its AI-driven risk assessment modelling. This innovative approach will expand access to off-grid clean energy for households, micro businesses, and smallholder farmers.
- Improving education in Indonesia: A loan portfolio guaranty to Pintek for $8 million will support $16 million in higher and vocational education loans for students in Indonesia, supporting economic growth in the country.
- Economically empowering women in India: A $50 million loan portfolio guaranty to HDFC Bank, in coordination with Mastercard and USAID, will enable $100 million in loans to small and medium-sized enterprises focused on women’s economic empowerment.
- Broadening access to healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa: A $5 million direct loan to Africa Healthcare Network is helping to expand access to affordable, high quality healthcare through its operation of lifesaving dialysis centers across East Africa.
- Supporting agriculture and renewable energy in Nigeria: A $5.1 million loan portfolio guaranty to LAPO Microfinance Bank will encourage lending to agriculture and renewable energy projects, supporting food security and sustainable economic growth in the country.
- Growing the agricultural sector in India: A $27.5 million loan portfolio guaranty to three financial institutions — Avanti Finance, Maanaveeya, and Samunnati — will support $55 million in loans to agricultural organizations and companies in India supporting farmer producers, agricultural technology, and clean energy solutions for agriculture.
- Supporting microfinance and financial inclusion worldwide: An additional $48 million direct loan to MicroVest Enhanced Debt Fund will help expand financing opportunities for microfinance institutions and other responsible financial institutions that support international development globally.
- Expanding commercial renewable energy in Costa Rica: $13.5 million in political risk insurance will help finance rooftop solar systems throughout Costa Rica, primarily for commercial customers, diversifying the country’s energy base.
- Encouraging investment in health in Tanzania: A $4.4 million loan portfolio guaranty to CRDB Bank will catalyze financing for Tanzania’s health sector while emphasizing lending to women and youth.
- Enabling small businesses in India: A $10 million loan to NeoGrowth Credit Private Limited will provide short term loans to disadvantaged small businesses, helping increase financial inclusion.
- Increasing access to education in Kenya: $4 million in capitalization for Lending for Education in Africa Partnership will help provide affordable student loans and student support services to college students in need of financial assistance to pursue higher education.
- Empowering agricultural businesses in Africa and beyond: A $20 million loan to MISIF, to be managed by MissioInvest, will provide loans to small and medium-sized agricultural enterprises across Africa and around the world to enhance food security.
- Expanding access to healthcare in Ecuador: A $18.5 million direct loan to AXXIS – Hospifuturo S.A., a hospital that focusses on healthcare for women and children, will help Ecuadorians gain access to high quality healthcare in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Advancing sustainable forestry in Colombia: A $22 million direct loan to Forest First Colombia S.A.S. will support the expansion of sustainable forestry on degraded land in eastern Colombia, one of the country’s poorest regions.
- Advancing renewable energy in Jordan: Political risk insurance will help finance a solar power plant under SunFunder’s Solar Energy Transformation Fund, diversifying Jordan’s energy portfolio.
- Promoting growth in Rwanda: $6.3 million in political risk insurance for Heaven Holdings Ltd. will help expand a hotel complex in Kigali, providing jobs and an opportunity for sustained economic growth.
Many of these investments are subject to Congressional Notification.