In 2019, the Netherlands and IFC entered a partnership to respond to the growing refugee crisis in MENA and East Africa. As forced displacement has become increasingly protracted, responses to the refugee crisis are focusing sustainable solutions backed by more dignified, inclusive, and comprehensive programs for refugees and the communities that host them.
Spearheaded by the Government of the Netherlands, the PROSPECTS Partnership Initiative is an inter-regional partnership that aims to improve the access of host communities and Forcibly Displaced People (FDPs) to employment and livelihood opportunities.
In 2021, IFC, in partnership with the government of the Netherlands, launched a new $17.5 million blended finance investment facility as part of the PROSPECTS Initiative, which aims to help de-risk and increase the financial viability of high impact projects benefitting refugees and FDPs and their host communities. PROSPECTS supports refugees and host communities in Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Sudan, and Uganda.
The blended finance facility seeks to de-risk investments, alleviate first-mover costs, and create new markets where involvement of private sector is currently nascent. The core objectives are to:
- Unlock and catalyze private sector financing for innovative and scalable investments to address economic and social challenges of FDPs and their host communities.
- Enable new and emerging private sector approaches and solutions for refugees.
- Provide demonstration effect for private sector on commercial viability of refugee-focused investments.
IFC has a strong track-record in creating innovative solutions to catalyze limited public funds to help de-risk and unlock private investment using blended concessional finance. Following the guidance of the DFI Enhanced Principles, IFC provides the minimum concessionality needed to catalyze projects and programs within a sector.