ICRC and Belgium pioneer with first Humanitarian Impact Bond
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) issued formally today, with the support of Belgium, the very first Humanitarian Impact Bond. Belgium is, together with the ICRC, the groundbreaker of this new financing mechanism which will be rolled out to build three physical rehabilitation centers in conflict zones. "Thousands of people in need of help, and who have been deprived of this help until now, will gain access to revalidation and will be able to start a new life thanks to the Humanitarian Impact Bond," according to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo.
The Humanitarian Impact Bond brings close to 23 million EUR together from social investors who will pre-finance the construction of physical rehabilitation centers in Mali, Nigeria and DRC. This amount will be used by the ICRC for the construction of three new rehabilitation centers and for the enhancement of their services to their patients. Attention will also go to innovative management, digitalization and data collection. Social investors will be paid back by a group of outcome funders once the 5-years rehabilitation programme reaches its pre-determined results.
Belgium playing a pioneering role
Belgium was together with the ICRC one the pioneers of this new humanitarian financing mechanism and belongs to the group of outcome funders. Our country has earmarked 8,7 million EUR for that purpose. Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Italy and the “La Caixa” Foundation are also outcome funders.
Alexander De Croo: "I’m really happy that we have been able, together with the ICRC, to launch these first Humanitarian Impact Bond. The ICRC has a long history in the construction of successful rehabilitation programmes for people in conflict zones, but the means that are available are drying up quickly because of the increasing number of humanitarian crises. This is precisely why we are looking for innovative forms of financing like the Humanitarian Impact Bond. Equally important is greater emphasis on results. An instrument like the Humanitarian Impact Bond makes this possible."
Read also: ‘A new bond taps private money for aid projects in war zones’ (The Economist, 7 sept. 2017)