Canada’s Leadership in Blended Finance

Blended finance is a framework that initiates the blending of public and private capital to finance development goals, increase the effects of international development investments and achieve sustainable results. Blended finance initiatives build on existing official development assistance programs, designed to expand the pool of capital for development finance.

In 2015, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will expire. They will be replaced by a new set of development priorities as part of the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

There is global consensus that official development assistance (ODA) alone will be insufficient to finance the post-2015 development agenda. For this reason, Canada is playing a leading role in designing new global mechanisms to harness the various flows of financing for development.

Canada’s role

Canada has been at the forefront of a number of initiatives that have proven the ability of blended finance to make new solutions to development issues possible, working with the private sector to maximize resources, talent and innovation, creating new and more effective products, services and technology to improve the lives of people in poverty.

As the chair of the Redesigning Development Finance Initiative (RDFI) Steering Committee, established by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Economic Forum, Canada emphasized its commitment to increasing the pool of financial resources available to reduce poverty in the developing world at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, held in Ethiopia from July 13 to 16, 2015. In addition to the projects announced a the conference, Canada is at the forefront of implementing blended finance initiatives in a number of sectors. For example:

Health and rights of women and children

The Global Finance Facility – Announced at the 2014 United Nations General Assembly in New York, a partnership with the World Bank, the Global Finance Facility (GFF) in Support of Every Woman Every Child was formally launched at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development. The GFF demonstrates Canada’s commitment to improve the quality of vital statistics in the developing world by 2030. The launch of the Global Financing Facility for Every Woman, Every Child, and the joint GFF-International Bank for Reconstruction and Development partnership will help mobilize private capital for global health supporting efforts such as accelerating the deployment of community health workers, further reducing deaths from malaria and continuing to strengthen health systems.

The New Centre of Excellence for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics – The Centre of Excellence for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics, supported by Canada and housed at the International Development Research Centre, will strengthen Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) systems by gathering information that will help governments and other organizations make decisions on how to best allocate resources for improving the health of women and children. The Centre will also help bring together a broad cross-section of specialists with the goal of sharing knowledge, best practices, tools and standards to improve national CRVS systems.

Convergence Blended Finance Platform – Canada has been working with a number of partners to build a new financing platform called Convergence, designed to bring together public and private investors for blended finance investments. It will facilitate the blending of private, public and philanthropic capital to reduce poverty and serve as a marketplace, knowledge broker and accelerator for innovative development finance models.

Grand Challenges Canada – Working together on the Innovation Platform for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, this project supports Canadian and developing-country innovators to tackle persistent global health challenges and leverages private-sector expertise and resources to scale up these innovations.

Extractives sector

Extractives Cooperation for Enhanced Economic Development (EXCEED) – A funding mechanism to support large-scale development projects in the extractives sector in Africa that will build the capacity of African governments and organizations to maximize the benefits of their own resource wealth. EXCEED enhances the contribution and mitigates the risks of the extractives sector to the socioeconomic well-being of African women, men and youth.

Agriculture and infrastructure

Grow Asia – A regional platform of the World Economic Forum (WEF), developed in collaboration with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat, Grow Asia is part of the WEF’s Global Challenge Initiative on Food Security and Agriculture, of which Canada is a founding partner. Grow Asia aims to engage the private sector and identify opportunities for collaboration to increase food security and agricultural growth in the ASEAN region.

Economic development

World Bank Group – Working with Canada to develop the Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF) in order to enable private-public partnerships for infrastructure financing. The GIF will engage and integrate the efforts of multilateral development banks, institutional investors, private sector infrastructure service providers, and local governments to stimulate economic growth and expand access to basic services that help alleviate poverty in emerging markets and developing economies.

Development Projects in Ethiopia