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The Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the World Bank Foster New Financing Solutions for Development

Press Release No:2010/261/CFP


wb logo                       afd logo              bill logo 


Paris, February 18, 2010 - The Marketplace on Innovative Financial Solutions for Development, organized by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the World Bank, will be held March 4-5, 2010 in the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie in la Villette, Paris. The goal of this international event is to foster the creation of new financial mechanisms to better address development challenges at the global, regional, or local levels.


The two-day event includes policy and technical workshops, a marketplace, and presentations showcasing innovative initiatives designed to meet current development challenges.  During the event, the five winners of a grant competition on innovative financial solutions for development will be selected.  They will each receive grants of US$100,000 to implement their proposals.  For more information, see


Giving impetus to innovative financial solutions for development


The Marketplace on Innovative Financial Solutions for Development seeks to highlight new mechanisms and approaches to meet the challenges of financing for development at the global, regional, or local levels.


The Marketplace is motivated by the growing complexity of development challenges that require innovative financial solutions involving a host of stakeholders and instruments.  


As AFD Managing Director Jean-Michel Severino explains, “we are witnessing a complete transformation of Official Development Assistance in terms of its objective, actors, and instruments.  Over the past ten years, international assistance has been extended to such new areas as climate change and is mobilizing new private actors who are operating alongside States.”


According to World Bank Group Managing Director, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, “Innovative finance not only helps bring additional resources to developing countries, it also makes the delivery of development finance more efficient and results-oriented. The World Bank Group has pioneered a range of innovative finance instruments which has helped developing countries immunize women and children, combat the effects of climate change, develop clean technology and access capital markets for catastrophe insurance. The Marketplace provides an opportunity to further explore new ideas and solutions to help developing countries help their people.


According to Bill Gates, “The key role of our foundation is to invest in innovations that would not otherwise be funded. This draws not only on our backgrounds in technology but also on the foundation’s size and ability to take a long term view and take large risks on new approaches. When we think about innovative financing, we have the same approach: how to draw in imaginative new partners, make aid budgets go further, and bring more resources into fighting poor health, hunger and poverty.”


The objectives of the Marketplace are to:

-       Advance the agenda on innovative financial solutions for development;

-       Facilitate knowledge-sharing and learning, including the exchange of lessons between developing countries (South/South learning) and to review the most effective approaches in terms of impact and efficiency; and

-       Spur the introduction of innovative financial mechanisms in order to meet development challenges of varying dimensions.


The two day event


More than 1,000 participants are expected to attend, among them development practitioners, donors, philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, academicians, representatives from a range of financial institutions, and policymakers.


The event will revolve around workshops, presentations by the 20 selected finalists of the grant competition, other case study presentations, and one-on-one sessions with financial experts. The emphasis will be on knowledge sharing and learning.


The event, to be opened by Christine Lagarde, French Minister of Economy, Industry, and Employment, will bring together leading experts on these issues. The speakers will include: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Managing Director, The World Bank Group), Jean-Michel Severino (Director General, Agence Française de Développement), Geoffrey Lamb (Managing Director, Public Policy Operations, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), Philippe Douste Blazy (Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Special Adviser to the Secretary General on Innovative Financing for Development, Chair of the Board of UNITAID), Rachel Kyte (Vice President, International Finance Corporation), Eckhard Deutscher (Development Assistance Committee Chair, OECD), and His Highness the Aga Khan.


A grant competition to generate innovative finance solutions


The final round of the grant competition on “innovative financial solutions for development”, a key component of the Marketplace, will take place during the event.  Out of some 800 proposals submitted to the grant competition, 20 finalists were invited to the event in Paris. The five winners to be selected from among these 20 finalists will receive a grant of US$100,000, each to implement their projects. The finalists will present their proposals to a jury of ten development specialists.


The organizers sum up the event as follows:

“The objective of this Marketplace is to showcase the wealth of innovative activity in the area of financing mechanisms for development. We hope that the competition, to be held during this event that will serve as a veritable wellspring of innovative ideas, will pave the way for other initiatives and provide impetus in this area.”


Submissions include proposals from:

          The Center for Innovative Financial Design, India for a new “savings card” that has the characteristics of a consumption good, giving savers a “shopping experience” while saving.

          The International Food Policy Research Institute and Nyala Insurance S.C. for a system of simple weather securities with fixed payments to improve the welfare of millions of rain-dependent farmers in Ethiopia.

          Crimson Capital Corp., which proposes to bring Purchase Order Finance (POF) to the Northern Amazon region in Bolivia, providing early-stage working capital for bio-trade value chains.


(The list of the 20 finalists is available on the Marketplace website:


The 20 proposals were submitted by a wide range of organizations, including local NGOs and private players from developing countries.  These proposals were selected from a pool of 800 submissions following evaluation by 110 specialists in the innovative finance and development fields.


For more information:




Centre des Conférences de la Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie de la Villette à Paris

30 av. Corentin-Cariou – Paris 19e France

M° Porte de la Villette


Opening hours

March 4, 2010 : 8 am – 8 pm

March 5, 2010 : 8 am – 6 pm


How to participate ?

                                              Registration on


About AFD

As a public body, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) has worked for over sixty years to combat poverty, promote development and protect the environment in developing countries and French overseas territories. It implements the development policy set by the French Government, represented by the ministry for the economy, industry and employment, the ministry for foreign and European affairs and the ministry responsible for overseas territories. With a presence in over 50 countries, AFD and its subsidiary Proparco fund and support projects which improve people’s living conditions, encourage economic growth and protect the planet. Such projects include schooling for children, support for farmers and businesses, water supply, preserving the rainforest and combating global warming. 


About the World Bank Group

The World Bank Group provides financial and technical assistance to developing countries in areas such as health, education,  infrastructure, financial and private sector development, agriculture, and environmental and natural resources management. Its support to innovative finance ranges from fund-raising to implementing efficient financial solutions and linking financing to results, to creating and disseminating knowledge. The Bank Group accounted for over a quarter of the US$57.1 billion of official flows mobilized through innovative fund-raising efforts between 2000 and 2008. It has raised US$2.15 billion through bonds that tap new sources including Green Bonds and Cool Bonds. The Bank has developed and implemented a variety of innovative finance mechanisms and instruments to deliver more and better development financing. The Bank participated in the design of the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) and serves as IFFIm’s Treasury Manager. It played a key role in designing the Pilot Advanced Market Commitment (AMC) for vaccines, and it has been instrumental in the establishment and implementation of the Adaptation Fund under the Kyoto Protocol. It has supported investments in clean technology projects designed to reduce carbon emissions. It has developed and implemented a range of innovative products to help countries deal with shocks and catastrophes, including loans with deferred drawdown options, market intermediation of weather risk management derivatives for IDA client countries, the Caribbean Catastrophic Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF),  and a catastrophe bond that allows sovereigns to access the capital markets for catastrophe insurance.


About the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has supported the development of the innovative finance concept and in recent years has piloted several of the first innovative financial transactions, including the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm); Debt2Health, which uses debt swaps to mobilise resources for HIV, TB and malaria via the Global Fund; the market guarantee for immunisations (currently underway) and, in partnership with the IFC, the African Development Bank and DEG, a capital investment fund whose objective is twofold for health in Africa. In the specific international fields which the foundation focuses on – health, agriculture, water and sanitation – the foundation hopes to continue its research and support innovative financial transactions which mobilise resources and increase efficiency. 



Laure Weisgerber (AFD), + 33 1 53 44 30 57

Anne-Sophie Morizot (Hopscotch), +33 1 58 65 00 88

Rachel Winter Jones (World Bank - Europe) +33 1 40 69 30 52

Angela Furtado (World Bank – Washington) 202 – 473-1909




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