USAID grants livelihood bond to benefit 385,000 women in Southeast Asia

  • August 11, 2017

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 11 (PIA) - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is guaranteeing a four-year, eight million dollars women’s livelihood bond (WLB) that will provide access to credit, market linkages and affordable goods and services for an estimated 385,000 Southeast Asian women.

The bond which is structured by the Singapore-based Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) is expected to be listed on the Singapore Exchange this month and will be the first social sustainability bond, with a dual focus on social and financial returns, to be listed on a major stock exchange. USAID is providing a 50 percent guarantee of the loan portfolio’s principal to mitigate risk, attract investors and support development.

“USAID is pleased to support the WLB with this loan guarantee,” said Todd Sorenson, deputy mission director at USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia in Bangkok.  “The bond will benefit women living in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) states, particularly Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines,” Sorenson added.

The WLB will provide capital to a group of microfinance institutions and social enterprises that will help low-income women transition from subsistence to sustainable livelihoods and build their resilience to socio-economic stresses.  Long-term benefits, in addition to more successful women-owned businesses, include increased participation in the workforce, higher standards of living, and more education and health opportunities for women and children.

“This brings us one step closer to a day when our financial markets consider social and environmental impact on an equal footing with financial returns,” said IIX founder Durreen Shahnaz, noting that the WLB was supported by public, private and philanthropic institutions, including DBS Bank Ltd., ANZ Banking Group, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Sixty percent of the capital for this bond was provided by Asian investors, mostly private banking clients. IIX is planning to develop additional social sustainability bonds in the future.

Since 1999, USAID through the Development Credit Authority has arranged more than 350 million dollars in credit through 63 guarantees in 13 Asian nations. USAID’s loan guarantee for the WLB  is part of its commitment to the development of the ASEAN region.  The U.S. government partners with ASEAN to support economic integration, expand maritime cooperation, cultivate emerging leaders, promote opportunity for women, and address transnational challenges. (U.S. Embassy/PIA-Caraga)


Other News

Palace closely monitoring situation on avian flu
  • August 20, 2017
MANILA, Aug. 20 -- Malacañan on Saturday, August 19, reassured the public that it is keeping a close watch on the developments in Nueva Ecija following reports of poultry deaths, urging the people to refrain from spreading fake news which may cause distress and panic. “We are closely monitoring the situation in Nueva Ecija following the confirmation of poultry deaths in the province yesterday by the Department of Agriculture (DA). We ask our people to remain calm yet vigilant and to refrain from spreading unverified information that may cause undue alarm and panic,” Presidential Spoke...Read more
DPWH resumes road repair in Metro Manila this weekend
  • August 20, 2017
MANILA, Aug. 20 -- The Department of Public Works and Highways – National Capital Region (DPWH-NCR) will take advantage of the long weekend to continue its road reblocking activities in 10 major thoroughfares in Metro Manila which began 11PM of Friday, 18 August 2017.   DPWH-NCR Director Melvin B. Navarro reported that road works will include major areas in Quezon City including second lane, northbound direction  of Epifanio delos Santos Avenue before North Avenue; second lane, southbound direction of A. Bonifacio Street between Del Monte Street after Binhagan Street; truck lane,...Read more
Mayor Beng reiterates: Avoid looking for jobs in risky areas
  • August 20, 2017
By Felipo David G. Malcampo ZAMBOANGA CITY, August 16 (PIA) – City Mayor Beng Climaco reiterated her warning to jobseekers to avoid looking for jobs in risky areas since there is plenty of employment opportunities in the city. “Please refrain from looking for work in risky areas because we have a lot of job opportunities in Zamboanga,” Mayor Climaco said during a press briefing Monday (August 14). Last month, four Zamboangueño laborers namely Jayson Vailoces, Joel Adanza, Felimon Guerrero, Jr. and Edmundo Ramos were abducted while doing construction and painting jobs in Sulu. L...Read more
DAR marks CARPER’s 8th Anniversary
  • August 20, 2017
By Alfonso T. Ruda   DIPOLOG CITY, August 16 (PIA)--- The Department of Agrarian of Agrarian Reform held a press conference with the local media in line with the department’s 8th CARPER Anniversary celebration.   According to DAR-Zamboanga del Norte PARPO II Mohammad Dassan Adju, the press conference was called to update the local media on the projects implemented by DAR in the province and to thank the media for their continuous support to its information dissemination campaign.   Adju said that apart from its regular project, presently DAR is implementing two (2) forei...Read more