IFC focuses on the needs of the poor, regardless of their location.
More than two-thirds of the world’s poorest people—who survive on less than $1.25 a day—live in middle-income countries. These countries also are home to large numbers of people without access to clean water, reliable power, or decent health and education services.
IFC focuses on the needs of the poor, regardless of their location. Our approach is to help middle-income countries find creative ways to ensure that their rising prosperity is shared by all citizens. We also work to strengthen rural development and address the challenges of unemployment, urbanization, and climate change.
Supporting companies that adopt inclusive business models is an important element of our work. Over the past nine years, we have invested more than $9 billion in businesses that provide goods, services, and jobs to people at the base of the economic pyramid—by integrating the working poor into their supply chains. We have worked with more than 350 inclusive-business clients in more than 80 countries.
This year, we provided a $15.6 million loan to finance the construction or renovation of 47 preschool facilities in Chuvashia Republic, a predominantly rural province in Russia. The project will open up spaces for more than 7,000 students and create jobs for teachers—many of whom will be women.
In Turkey, we provided financing and advice to help introduce a technology that will enable one of the country’s largest paper companies to expand production without increasing the consumption of water—a key input for the paper industry. Our $8 million loan to cardboard maker Modern Karton will help it build a wastewater-recovery system to conserve and reuse water.
Thriving private enterprises in middle-income countries can set an important example for others—not only by venturing into less-developed areas of their own country but also by stepping out into poorer countries. IFC helps make that happen.
This year, we invested $6 million in an Istanbul-based education firm, Plato, to help it expand vocational training in Turkey and several Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries. The investment was our first under our E4E Initiative for Arab Youth, which aims to strengthen job skills in a region where youth unemployment is high. Plato is expected to strengthen employment opportunities for up to 6,000 students.