Red Cross launch world’s first humanitarian impact bond


Alliance magazine


The world’s first ‘Humanitarian Impact Bond’ has been launched by The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), to improve the financing of aid in conflict-hit countries.

The Humanitarian Impact Bond, set up by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), has raised over £20 million pounds (26 million CHF), to set up three physical rehabilitation centres in Nigeria, Mali, and Democratic Republic of Congo. The new investment model has been designed to bridge the divide between the pressure of existing funds and the complex nature of humanitarian crises.

Social Investors such as New Re (part of Munich ReGroup) have provided private capital to kickstart the five year programme. Governments of Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, the UK, and ‘la Caixa’ Foundation, known as The Outcome Funders, will give additional capital if scheme performs as well as expected. The ‘payment-by-results’ programme includes the necessary training for the new staff as well as the testing and implementation of new efficiency initiatives.

Of the 90 million people with physical disabilities who need a mobility device worldwide, only 10 per cent, on average, 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 countries. In 2016, the Physical Rehabilitation Programme coordinated 139 projects in 34 countries, helping almost 330,000 people with physiotherapy and mobility devices including wheelchairs, artificial limbs and braces.

Peter Maurer, the ICRC’s president, said, ‘Today’s humanitarian challenges are immense, causing suffering for many millions of men, women and children around the world. This funding instrument is a radical, innovative but at the same time, logical step for the ICRC. It is an opportunity not only to modernise the existing model for humanitarian action, but to test a new economic model, designed to better support people in need’.

For more, visit The International Committee for the Red Cross’ website.

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