Creating Opportunity Where It's Needed Most
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Annual Report

Annual Report > 2013 Online Report  > Stories of Impact 

Creating Opportunity for the Poor

India's Rural Women

Nearly half our projects—totaling more than $6 billion—were in the poorest countries.

In the poorest countries, the need to improve lives is urgent. Unable to attract investment, many of these countries have no option but to rely on official aidwhich often is not sufficient. These are the 82 countries eligible to borrow from the International Development Association, or IDAthe World Bank's fund for the poorest. For IFC, they represent an opportunity to make a critical difference where we are needed most. 

Our investments in IDA countries have grown nearly tenfold over the past decade, totaling $6.6 billion in FY13 alone. Of this amount, a record $1.2 billion was mobilized through loan syndications. IDA countries accounted for about half of all IFC investment projects and over 60 percent of advisory projects in recent years. In addition, we've contributed more than $2.5 billion to IDA's general fund since 2007including $340 million in FY13. 

Through our Global Trade Finance Program, we have provided more than $13 billion in guarantees to businesses in IDA countries since 2005$3.3 billion in FY13 alone. This enabled small and medium enterprises to obtain much-needed finance to expand and join the global trading system. 

We aim to invest wherever we can do the most good. In Kenyawhere tea exports generate more than $1 billion a year in earnings, benefiting 10 percent of the populationwe helped the country's largest producer of black tea, the Kenya Tea Development Agency. Our $12 million investment financed a 200,000-square-foot facility that is expected to raise farmers' income and provide stability in a sector that accounts for two-thirds of the region's jobs. 

We are helping Lao People's Democratic Republic develop its hydropower sector as a way to promote economic growth and alleviate poverty. We are supporting the revision of the country's water law after launching a program to increase the share of new hydro projects that follow high social and environmental standards. 

In small IDA countries where the local banking systems tend to be underdeveloped, IFC works with local financial institutions to strengthen their capabilities and help them grow. 

Our work with Bai Tushum and Partners, in the Kyrgyz Republic, has enabled it to develop into the country's first microfinance bank, serving more than 25,000 customers. 

In landlocked Bhutan, we invested $28 million this year in Bhutan National Bankthe country's largest-ever foreign direct investmentto strengthen its capacity to serve micro, small, and medium enterprises and help it adopt international best practices in banking and corporate governance.



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