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TaiwanICDF Participates in Global Wave of Public Benefit Creation to Transform Women's Lives in Southeast and South Asia

2020-12-24
 
The Women’s Livelihood Loan Project is designed to gather resources from development partners and the private sector that commonly value women's empowerment to jointly invest in sustainable livelihoods for women.
The Women’s Livelihood Loan Project is designed to gather resources from development partners and the private sector that commonly value women's empowerment to jointly invest in sustainable livelihoods for women.
 
The Women’s Livelihood Loan Project in Southeast and South Asia, jointly promoted by the International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) and Singapore-based Impact Investment Exchange (IIX), aims to help women in these regions build economic resilience. The two parties signed the loan agreement on November 25, 2020. The loan from the TaiwanICDF will assist IIX in issuing the third bond of the Women's Livelihood Bond (WLB) Series, which is designed to gather resources from development partners and the private sector that commonly value women's empowerment to jointly invest in sustainable livelihoods for women.
 
TaiwanICDF Secretary General Amb. Timothy T. Y. Hsiang remarked, "The TaiwanICDF’s concessional funding catalyzes seven to nine times the private sector capital invested in the WLB3, expanding the scale of the project to US$24-30 million and therefore benefiting more women."
 
The WLB Series is an innovative capital market instrument different from traditional bonds. Public sector resources, such as the concessional loan from the TaiwanICDF and credit guarantee as well as technical assistance from other international development partners, are mobilized to effectively engage private sector resources to co-invest in solutions for sustainable development. Through the WLB Series that targets women across Southeast and South Asia, the TaiwanICDF aims to provide underserved women who are constrained by structural restrictions such as social status or cultural factors with opportunities to improve their family livelihoods and prevent poverty cycles.
 
IIX’s CEO and Founder, Durreen Shahnaz, said, “The WLB3 provides the financial support and liquidity needed to ensure women can continue to maintain their operations during the outbreak of the pandemic and city lockdowns, which is crucial for undisrupted agricultural production, supply of living necessities and recovery of a community-based economy. Additionally, with the project benefiting microfinance institutions and social impact enterprises and enhancing their ability to respond to the pandemic, women are empowered to become stronger and more resilient.”
 
In August 2017, IIX launched the US$8.5 million Women's Livelihood Bond 1- the first bond of the WLB Series- with development partners in the United States and Australia providing credit guarantee support and technical assistance respectively. Listed on the Singapore Exchange, it is the world's first gender-lens investment security that focuses on women's empowerment. To date, WLB1 has improved the livelihoods of 385,000 women.
 
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