OPIC Achieves $1 billion in Global Microfinance Support
March 23, 2016
WASHINGTON – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, today announced that the agency has surpassed $1 billion in financing support to global microfinance institutions, lenders and frameworks since 2010. OPIC provides financing to microfinance institutions through investments in microfinance vehicles, targeted credit facilities to individual microfinance institutions (MFIs), risk-sharing agreements, and guaranties supporting innovative industry efforts. OPIC’s financing has supported more than 100 microfinance institutions in more than 30 countries.
“Reaching the $1 billion mark in microfinance support is a proud moment for OPIC as an agency,” said Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC’s President and CEO. “As a small organization, we are always seeking innovative ways to more directly spark bottom-up economic growth in developing regions. This new capital invested in these markets has impact far beyond its face value.”
OPIC, which last week committed $125 million in financing to ACLEDA Bank Plc to support microfinance and small enterprise loans in Cambodia, also supports lending to a range of MFIs working across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean. These institutions provide loans ranging from as little as a hundred to several thousand dollars. Collectively, OPIC’s support has provided access to finance to millions of people, allowing them to grow their businesses, increase productivity and better support their families.
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OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help address critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds, when commercial funding cannot be obtained elsewhere. Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers.
All OPIC projects adhere to high environmental and social standards and respect human rights, including worker's rights. By mandating high standards, OPIC aims to raise the industry and regional standards of the countries where it funds projects. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 160 countries worldwide.