A new report finds that international finance institutions such as the Overseas Private Investment Corp. play a key role in addressing a range of developmental challenges from reducing poverty and creating jobs to improving food security and mitigating climate change.
The report, International Finance Institutions and Development through the Private Sector, was produced by OPIC and 30 other international finance institutions, and unveiled Friday, September 23 during the World Bank-IMF annual meetings. The 72-page report notes that the private sector is critical to economic development and that international finance institutions play a significant role in supporting the private sector in developing countries, by providing needed capital, building partnerships, helping to manage risks, and catalyzing the participation of others.
“According to extensive research, economic growth contributes significantly to poverty reduction and to higher living standards for poor people,” the report states. “In general, growth raises the incomes of the poor at about the same rate as for the overall economy and significantly reduces poverty.”
IFC’s report list a number of case studies that illustrate the role played by international finance institutions in different sectors, and cites OPIC’s participation in a water desalination project in Algeria, which brought potable water to 25% of the population in Algiers The report also cites an OPIC financing project in Jordan that helped local banks there expand home ownership to low-income families.
In addition to OPIC, the report looked at the work of international finance institutions around the world, including the African Development Bank, the Nordic Investment Bank, the Danish Industrialization Fund for Developing Countries and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector.