Washington, D.C., April 22, 2013—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is stepping up investment and advisory
activities in fragile and conflict-affected countries and regions to help
private businesses expand, create jobs, and spur economic development.
In fiscal year 2012, IFC invested more
than $530 million in countries affected by fragility and conflict and provided
advisory services, including through the Conflict-Affected States in Africa
program. IFC aims to increase investments by 50 percent over the next three
years, working in coordination with the World Bank and the Multilateral
Investment Guarantee Agency, or MIGA.
“Jobs can help break the cycle of crime,
violence, and conflict,” said Jin-Yong Cai, IFC’s Executive Vice President
and CEO. “Private businesses create nine out of every 10 jobs. But in
fragile countries, these businesses struggle to get by with an unreliable
supply of electricity and a lack of investment, which limits their growth.
IFC is playing an important role in helping such countries rebuild their
private sectors and get their populations back to work.”
A recent IFC
study found that a lack of access
to finance, inadequate infrastructure, insufficient job skills and training,
and a poor investment climate are the biggest constraints to job creation
in developing economies. Improving access to electricity in countries that
have severe outages can increase annual job growth by more than 4 percent,
while bank loans can help increase it by more than 3 percent.
Responsible private sector investment
and job creation in fragile countries was the focus of a forum held on
the sidelines of the Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and IMF. The
event was organized by the g7+—an independent group of 18 fragile countries
and regions—with IFC, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, and
co-hosted by the U.S. government.
In a communiqué,
the g7+ stated that a new area of cooperation should include an “enhanced
dialogue with private sector actors aimed at increasing the contribution
from private sector investments in transitions out of fragility.”
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the
private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth
by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial
markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments.
In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion,
leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation,
and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more
information, visit www.ifc.org.