The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development or IBRD) has issued a US$100 million 5-year bond which both supports IBRD’s ongoing sustainable development and COVID-19 activities and adds a new feature to support similar efforts by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). As countries confront the economic challenges of the pandemic, which has affected millions of children worldwide, the issuance will channel an amount equivalent to half of the total proceeds, US$50 million, to UNICEF. This frontloading of financing to UNICEF will support its pandemic response programs for children around the world over the 5-year period.
“This World Bank bond serves as an example of how the private sector can share financial risks to achieve positive development impact,” said David Malpass, World Bank Group President. He added, “We are grateful to our investors for joining this effort and demonstrating how investors can participate in the global response to COVID-19, through this unique opportunity to scale up resources available to UNICEF to expand its programs. The bond also spotlights impact investor support for World Bank Sustainable Development Bonds and the potential for finding new ways to collaborate for impact.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated deep inequalities within and across countries worldwide,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. “Keeping children at the heart of recovery efforts and focusing on innovative partnerships will enable us to reimagine children’s futures and secure more equitable societies.”
“Making real headway in alleviating social challenges requires new ways of doing things. We’re excited to innovate in the financial space and our institutional and private clients have shown overwhelming support for investments that can further their social missions,” said Jim O’Donnell, Head of Citi Global Wealth.