Solutions in a Snapshot -

IFC pursues results-focused solutions to ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.


These photos, made by Dominic Chavez, look back at projects that have made a difference to individuals and communities in every region of the world.

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Expanding Microfinance

Across India, small loans are lifting millions out of poverty. Lending to microfinance borrowers, mostly women in rural areas, has increased by 900 percent over the last six years—helping millions of marginalized families expand businesses, purchase essentials, and support their children’s education.

Over the past decade, IFC has helped create a market for microfinance in India by investing more than $500 million—including $5 million in Utkarsh. The UK’s Department for International Development and the Ministry of Finance of Japan also provided advisory support for Utkarsh, which now has 400 offices that serve 1.7 million borrowers.

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Ensuring Food Security

Every day, workers at Bakhresa Rwanda produce 500 tons of food that will be distributed across the region. Although wheat flour was once a rare commodity in Rwanda, after Bakhresa entered the market in 2010, prices fell immediately, making the baking staple widely affordable. Effects were felt across the local economy as entrepreneurs prospered and jobs were created.

Bakhresa is now the market leader in wheat milling in the region. IFC’s financing package of $10.5 million helped the company increase production and purchase a fleet of trucks that are helping Bakhresa expand operations across the region.

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Greening Buildings

More than half of Vietnam's population will relocate to urban areas in the next 30 years. Such rapid urbanization requires energy-efficient buildings and a sustainable strategy for growth. EDGE—the standard and certification system developed by IFC—is already serving Vietnam’s need to go green.

To date, EDGE-certified buildings in Vietnam have saved 12 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, reduced utility costs by $1.4 million, and lowered greenhouse emissions by 10,000 tons every year. EDGE was created with support from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of Switzerland SECO and the Hungarian Export-Import Bank.

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Empowering Patients

In some Middle Eastern countries, inequitable access to health care, inconsistent quality of services, and long wait times plague patients as much as their ailments do. Egyptian tech company Vezeeta offers a remedy: a new website and mobile app that empower patients in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia to rate and connect to health-care providers.

Since Vezeeta’s 2012 launch, it has helped 2 million people find doctors and book appointments, which is especially useful for patients in remote rural areas. IFC’s $1 million investment will help Vezeeta expand operations—one more way that IFC’s financing helps people and societies thrive.

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Tackling Urban Challenges

Turkey's urban population has more than doubled in the past 30 years. IFC is helping cities like Izmir, Turkey's third-largest urban area, meet expanding infrastructure needs while maintaining commitments to green growth. With IFC support, Izmir now organically treats 97 percent of its wastewater and uses the residual sludge as cement base for a new tram-line construction.

From Mariupol in Ukraine to Bogota in Colombia, IFC has invested and mobilized more than $8 billion under the Cities Inititiative in the past decade.

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Investing in the Future

When a mining boom promised to transform Peru’s Apurimac region, local officials and communities recognized that the new revenues demanded a different approach to managing fiscal responsibilities. IFC developed a program that provides mayors and officials with tools to guide investment decisions, develop a culture of accountability, and build trust with communities.

The program, supported by the government of Canada, enhanced the capacity of local leaders to participate in investment decision-making processes and demand accountability regarding resource use in more than 50 towns across Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru.