Washington, D.C., October 10, 2010—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, and the government of Denmark have signed
a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on strategic cooperation for private
sector development in developing countries during the World Bank Group
Annual Meetings. The focus is Sub-Saharan Africa, fragile and conflict-affected
states, climate change, and gender equality.
Under the MOU, Denmark will contribute 25 million Danish kroner for selected
IFC Advisory Services projects in fragile and conflict-affected states
in Sub-Saharan Africa, and for projects focusing on gender equality. Denmark
will also help increase cooperation between IFC and Danish companies, institutional
investors, pension funds, the Industrialization Fund for Developing Countries,
and other Danish entities.
“The new strategy for Danish development assistance has a strong focus
on initiatives that support the development of the private sector in developing
countries,” said Søren Pind, Danish Minister of Development Cooperation.
“The private sector has a key role in fostering sustainable economic growth
and job creation, which lift people out of poverty. IFC shares the purpose
of Danish development assistance, which is to set people free and thereby
enable them to escape poverty.”
IFC Executive Vice President and CEO Lars Thunell said: “The global economic
crisis has underscored the importance of working closely with our partners
in setting policy and strengthening market incentives for business activities
that create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their
lives. Sustainable markets and a vibrant private sector are essential to
creating jobs and achieving lasting solutions to poverty.”
The Denmark-IFC partnership will ensure a strategic approach to maximize
development impact. In fragile and conflict-affected countries in Sub-Saharan
Africa, funds from the Danish government will help IFC Advisory Services
improve the business environment, rebuild financial markets, promote microfinance,
and stimulate private sector investment in infrastructure. Danish contributions
will also help promote gender equality.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create
opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do
so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply
essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering
advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global
economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion
in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
DANIDA, the Danish International Development Assistance agency, focuses
on five priorities: growth and employment; freedom, democracy and human
rights; gender equality; stability and fragility; and environment and climate.
These are interconnected and essential for fighting poverty and reaching
the Millennium Development Goals. For more information, visit www.um.dk/en.