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Poverty increasingly is concentrated in areas where it’s hardest to eradicate.

About 1.3 billion people live in 75 of the world’s poorest countries — those eligible to borrow from the World Bank’s International Development Association. By 2030, nearly half of the world’s extremely poor will live in fragile and strife-torn areas.

IFC is taking a comprehensive approach to eradicate poverty in these countries. We are helping to create or strengthen institutions, mobilize investment, and promote private entrepreneurship. By 2030, we expect 40 percent of IFC’s annual investment commitments to be in IDA countries and in fragile and conflict-affected areas.

IFC’s long-term investment commitments in IDA countries climbed to $6.8 billion in FY18, including funds mobilized from other investors. Fifty-seven percent of our advisory program is in these countries. In FY18, our investments in fragile and conflict-affected areas totaled $3.7 billion, including funds mobilized from other investors. Nearly 20 percent of IFC advisory programs was in such areas.

The IFC-funded Rikweda raisin-processing plant is helping 3,000 smallholder farmers in Afghanistan — by buying their produce at higher prices. Photo: Nicholas Bertrand/Taimani Films/World Bank

In 2018, the World Bank Group used a new tool — the IDA18 IFC-MIGA Private Sector Window — to help Afghanistan’s Rikweda Fruit Processing Company build a state-of-the-art raisin-processing plant. Once operational, the plant will double the country’s production of raisins and support 3,000 smallholder farmers by buying their produce.

We began implementing the Creating Markets Advisory Window, which addresses the growing need for advisory solutions. Funding from the window is helping increase access to affordable housing, promote clean electricity, and boost the value of agriculture around industrial parks in Haiti’s northeast corridor. It is supporting key agribusiness initiatives in Nicaragua and strengthening environmental and social standards in the Honduran financial sector.

Kenya, Kakuma Refugee Camp Represents a $56M/YR Market

In addition, IFC and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees published a report that identified how private investment can improve the lives of people in refugee camps. More than 160,000 refugees and displaced people live in a refugee camp near the town of Kakuma, Kenya. The refugees and the town depend on each other for business and employment and represent a market of at least $56 million a year, the report found.

In Myanmar, we are helping remote communities connect to the outside world by supporting Yoma Micropower, which is using blended finance to set up hundreds of solar-based micro power plants across the country. By 2022, about 2,000 of these plants will power communications towers and supply power to remote off-grid communities.

In Cambodia, we helped strengthen the local furniture industry and integrate it with international markets. IFC lent the equivalent of $26 million to Morris Holdings, a China-based manufacturer of affordable furniture, to help the company build a modern production facility in Sihanoukville.