CGD Policy Blogs
The US International Development Finance Corporation has become a Rorschach test for the policy community: when they look at it, everyone sees something different.
The Biden administration and the Congress rightly went big in the recently passed American Rescue Plan at a time of tremendous need. The package was appropriately focused on the domestic side, but it did not neglect the rest of the world. One might reasonably ask then why $1 billion or $2 billion could not have been included for fighting the poverty, food insecurity, and health crises driven by the pandemic. That would have amounted 0.05 to 0.1 percent of the total package. And it would have been multiplied many times over in additional poverty reduction dollars, because that it was the MDB model does.
Last week DFC announced that it signed a framework agreement with the government of Ecuador to refinance up to $3.5 billion of the country’s external debt to China. In exchange, according to reporting by the Financial Times, the Ecuadorian government will commit to exclude Chinese companies from its telecom networks.
Last week, DFC held its fourth and final board meeting concluding its first year in operation. DFC approved close to $8 billion in 2020, a significant rise from OPIC annual program which stood at $3-4 billion in recent years. This year the institution also deployed its new equity instrument to the tune of $171 million, expanded its portfolio in Africa, and launched new initiatives to address the economic and health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Biden administration has a unique opportunity to push the new agency towards a greener mandate which could help mobilize billions more in climate finance. Here are a few pathways incoming DFC leadership could consider.
While reflecting on DFC’s progress in implementing its core development mandate, and confronting the challenges posed the COVID-19 pandemic, we reached out to Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), a lead sponsor of the BUILD Act and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. We asked Senator Coons for his take on how the newest US development agency is faring and what he hopes to see in DFC’s future.
In this monitor, we look at how the latest batch of projects help shift DFC’s overall portfolio balance towards lower-income markets and examine the agency’s COVID-19 response so far which remain largely focused on the provision of liquidity to financial intermediaries.
In a year marked by pandemic and protest, good books are more important than ever. We're back with more hand-picked recommendations from CGD's staff and researchers to help you better understand, empathize with, or escape the world.
CGD colleagues raised questions and concerns at the time of the announcement. In weighing his possibly presidency, an especially salient question becomes: can Claver-Carone deliver a general capital increase (GCI)?