IFC Commits Record $11bn to 108 Projects in Asia Pacific

World Bank Group member International Finance Corporation (IFC) has committed a record $11 billion to 108 projects in Asia and the Pacific this year to alleviate poverty and increase prosperity amid challenges such as climate change, gender inequality, food and energy insecurity, and higher inflation.

This represents a 10% year-on-year increase and includes $4.7 billion in long-term financing, $3.4 billion in mobilization, and $2.9 billion in short-term trade and supply-chain finance.

Critical issues like climate change and marine-plastic waste were addressed by investing 39% of long-term financing in projects ranging from Mongolia’s first green bond and blue finance in Thailand, to electric vehicles in India and sustainability-linked finance in South and Southeast Asia.

A record $4.7 billion was committed to financial institutions to improve access to finance for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), with specific targets for women-owned businesses. MSMEs account for over 97% of businesses and employ over half the workforce in the region.

IFC’s investments also increased access to insurance for underserved people and provided over 500,000 loans for affordable and green housing.

Furthermore, $2.4 billion of investments and 69% of advisory projects focused on improving gender equality, exceeding the target of 45%. This is crucial as it will take another 189 years to close the gender gap in East Asia and the Pacific and 149 years in South Asia, according to global estimates.

IFC also invested in projects to improve food security, including a resilient rice market in Bangladesh, part of a new $6 billion Global Food Security Platform. These projects are expected to improve the livelihoods of over 130,000 farmers, with specific targets for women farmers.

Digitalization projects were also a focus, ranging from internet connectivity in the Maldives to digital payment systems in Fiji, Samoa, and the Solomon Islands. Other projects will improve healthcare in Indonesia, childcare in Fiji, logistics infrastructure in Cambodia, and support Sri Lanka amid an ongoing economic crisis.

Riccardo Puliti, IFC’s Regional Vice President for Asia and the Pacific, said:

“In the face of a multitude of challenges, the vibrant private sector in Asia and the Pacific is playing an increasingly critical role in helping the region to overcome its biggest development issues. This record year cements our regional leadership in supporting the private sector and positions us to deliver on the aspirations of the World Bank Group’s Evolution Roadmap.”

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