IFC and Fragility, Conflict, and Violence

In recognition of the importance of the private sector in addressing the needs of those living in fragile and conflict situations, IFC has made economic growth and increased employment in these areas a priority. Together with the World Bank, MIGA, other development partners, and its clients, the Corporation is working to stimulate private investment and growth and meet acute challenges to private sector development.

For example, 56 percent of firms in FCS report access to power as a major constraint to their business. Alleviating the barriers to business growth—specifically access to power, access to finance, access to markets, enabling environments for business, and transparency and rule of law-underpins IFC's approach in FCS. By providing financing and advisory services and by working with governments to improve business environments, IFC can help reduce those barriers.

IFC's activities in FCS have grown significantly in recent years. During 2013, IFC's activities in FCS included investments of $577 million and advisory services of more than $39 million. IFC has committed to increasing its own account investments by 50 percent over fiscal 2012 levels by the end of fiscal 2016 with investments of at least $806 million. Recent projects include a power project in Cote d'lvoire, which will provide power to more than 2 million people in that country; a new microfinance institution in Myanmar, which will address the significant demand for financing by providing loans to more than 200,000 people, mostly micro and small businesses run by women; and a telecommunications company in Afghanistan to expand Internet access.

Beyond investments, IFC has worked with the government to improve Afghanistan's investment climate, including support in launching its first electronic collateral registry, which helps make it possible for smaller businesses to get the loans they need to grow and create jobs. Its support has also extended to farmers—one IFC advisory services project helped 1,500 pomegranate growers improve their farming practices, resulting in a 60 percent increase in their incomes, links to exporters, and access to new markets.

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