Conflict zones and areas of the world reeling from climate shocks need humanitarian aid, but capital investment is also essential to develop these fragile places in the short and long term.
The Forum’s Humanitarian Investing Initiative provides a global platform to accelerate a market for investing that benefits people and communities in greatest need, while also generating a financial return.
Since its launch at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in 2019, the initiative has galvanized impact and brought together partners who have the skills, expertise and reach to change lives.
What’s the challenge?
Two billion people live in countries affected by fragility, conflict and violence. The OECD projects that by 2030 more than 80% of the world’s poorest people will be living in such situations. Traditional and siloed humanitarian and development responses are no longer sufficient to keep up with the scale, duration and complexity of the crises.
Against a context of increasingly complex global challenges, many more investors want their resources to address problems while also achieving market returns. This high-impact investment market is estimated at more than $500 billion in assets. Sustainable investing strategies have been experiencing tremendous growth in the past few years. While the demand for such projects has grown dramatically, potential investing opportunities have not kept pace, especially for the contexts that need them.
“As humanitarian needs expand due to conflict and fragility, scaling game-changing financial models will be essential to improve people’s lives in fragile situations and bring hope to future generations.”
Through the Humanitarian Investing Initiative, the World Economic Forum, World Bank Group, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Credit Suisse, and the Netherlands, with the support of Boston Consulting Group (BCG), are enabling and supporting multistakeholder partnerships to mobilize investment capital and improve the lives of those in greatest need globally.
The initiative has begun impacting industries as diverse as energy, water, infrastructure, agriculture and financial services and is active across a range of regions – with a focus on Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. The initiative launched an interactive, digital Humanitarian Investing Opportunities Platform to showcase investable projects across these regions, across industries, and project types. In its beta launch, this interactive digital tool features 1000+ humanitarian investing deals worth more than $300 Billion across 100 countries.
Tangible impact to date has included bringing partners together to develop investable hydroponics projects that help people in unstable areas grow crops, taking affordable and clean energy to areas hosting refugees, and connecting financial structuring expertize with a multi million-dollar reconstruction of an area hit hard by Hurricane Dorian.
The initiative is also building support for a $30 million water infrastructure investment in the Democratic Republic of Congo and supports early-stage development for the Latin America Displaced Outcomes Fund (LADOF.)
“No single actor will be able to solve such complex challenges on their own. What is urgently needed is sustained dialogue and collaboration between humanitarian and development agencies with investors and corporates to partner on new solutions.”
How can you get involved?
A diverse group of businesses and organizations are invited to partner with our Humanitarian Investing Initiative to work together on new approaches that tackle long‑term challenges of fragility, protracted crises and forced displacement. Reach out to us to join one of the industry- or region-specific tracks that are developing investable deals. Each track has a lead partner, priority deal under development, and future plans for more deals and growth of the Humanitarian Investing market in that particular industry or region.
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