ICRC to tap private money through new humanitarian financial bonds

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-09 02:24:26|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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GENEVA, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Friday it had launched the world's first Humanitarian Impact Bond to encourage private sector investment in humanitarian programs in conflict zones.

The 26-million-Swiss-franc (27.5 million U.S dollar) capital raised will be used to build and run three new physical rehabilitation centers in Nigeria, Mali, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Swiss-based ICRC said in a statement.

Speaking about the financial instrument, ICRC President Peter Maurer said, "It is an opportunity not only to modernize the existing model for humanitarian action, but to test a new economic model, designed to better support people in need."

An instrument for debt security, the bond will provide services for thousands of people and will support the ICRC's health programs, the organization said.

A rising number of conflicts and a growing annual ICRC budget are the driving forces for the innovative funding model.

Of the 90 million people worldwide with physical disabilities who need a mobility device such as a wheelchair, artificial limbs and braces, an average of only 10 percent have access to adequate physical rehabilitation services, leading to both social and economic exclusion.

The ICRC is the world's largest provider of physical rehabilitation services in developing and fragile countries.

In 2016, the ICRC's physical rehabilitation program operated 139 projects in 34 countries, helping almost 330,000 people with physiotherapy and mobility devices. (1 Swiss franc=1.06 U.S. dollars)