We invested in 251 projects in 56 of the world’s poorest countries in FY11.
About 2.5 billion people—half the population of the developing world— live in the 79 countries eligible to borrow from the International Development Association, the World Bank Group’s Fund for the Poorest. Here, where most people live on less than $2 a day, the need to create opportunity is greatest.
But investing in these countries can be difficult. Corruption, lax regulation, and weak institutions often frustrate development efforts. Government resources are often inadequate to people’s needs, making private investment critical.
The reach and decentralization of IFC offices make us an important contributor to development in IDA countries. IFC employees are based in 48 IDA countries. In FY11, IFC invested in 251 projects in 56 IDA countries.
IDA countries are priorities for IFC. Since fiscal year 2000, our investments in these countries have grown tenfold, totaling $4.9 billion in FY11 alone. Nearly half of our investment projects and 66 percent of our advisory project expenditures were in IDA countries last year. In addition, IFC has contributed $1.9 billion to the association’s general fund.
On many projects, we’ve partnered with the World Bank to bring complementary skills to clients in IDA countries. In FY11, we launched seven joint investment projects with the World Bank and 105 joint advisory projects.
As we expand our work, we are also broadening the range of IDA countries in which we operate.
We strive to find opportunities in unfamiliar markets, like Mongolia, which are too often overlooked by international investors. Our $2 million investment in the country’s leading dairy processor, Suu JSC, will expand economic opportunities, diversify an economy that has historically relied on natural resources, and bolster food safety. The funds will help Suu install new equipment to test milk quality and expand its network of raw milk herders from 2,500 to around 4,000.