Blended Finance Taskforce for the Global Goals

Private Capital and the SDGs: The Urgent Need for Scale

The total investment need in developing countries for basic infrastructure (roads, rail and ports; power stations; water and sanitation), food security (agriculture and rural development), climate change, health, and education is estimated at somewhere between US$3.3 trillion and US$4.5 trillion a year. At current levels of investment, this equates to an annual funding gap of US$2.5 trillion each year. The bulk of this investment gap is for infrastructure, which is critical to delivering the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Public capital cannot meet this funding need alone, so mobilising local and international private investors is key. 

While there is no shortage of capital worldwide, the private sector is often unable to make SDG-related investments due to the associated project- or country-related risks. Hence the rationale for “blended finance”, which involves the strategic use of development funds to improve the risk-return profile of investments in order to attract private capital (using instruments like guarantees, risk insurance, currency hedging, syndicated loads, collective investment vehicles, subordinate capital, technical assistance funds etc.) It is unclear exactly how much development finance is currently “crowding in” private investment for the SDGs. However, with the investment gap in the trillions, the message is clear: public and philanthropic funds need to crowd in significantly more private capital for every dollar in order to fund the SDGs.

The Challenge and the Opportunity  

There is a major business opportunity for the private sector to invest in the SDGs (at least US$12 trillion in investable opportunities and 380 million new jobs by 2030), and there are big pools of long-term capital currently on the sidelines which could be invested. But mobilising an extra US$1 trillion of private capital a year (about 10% of annual net inflows into global savings pools) will require better deployment of blended finance and a focus on achieving scale to increase the public to private leverage ratio. This presents a major challenge, but also contains an enormous opportunity for the private sector, which led to the creation of the Blended Finance Taskforce.    

Working closely with other blended finance initiatives, notably the OECD and MDB/DFI efforts, and supported by a Steering Committee of 25 experienced practitioners and experts, as well as a broader informal advisory group, the Taskforce is focused on bringing the voice of the “private sector” into this agenda. The Taskforce will publish a report at Davos in January 2018, which aims to identify and tackle the systemic barriers to mobilising large-scale private capital for SDG-related investments. The report will contain bold recommendations that push for an ambitious deployment of blended finance to fund SDG related investments, especially for sustainable infrastructure. 

Members of the Taskforce include:

Member Organisation
Matt McGuire / Vinay Chawla Abraaj
Astrid Manroth AfDB
Steve Waygood Aviva
Carsten Stendevad ATP (former) / Bridgewater
Abyd Karmali BAML
Brian Herlihy Black Rhino
Ashley Schulten BlackRock
Ed Mathias Carlyle Group
Michael Eckhart Citi Group
Sean Kidney Climate Bonds Initiative
Joseph Brandt Contour Global
Marisa Drew Credit Suisse
Tony Adams EastSpring (former)
Alan Rousso / Mattia Romani EBRD
Nanno Kleiterp / Soren Andreasen EDFI
Cherie Nursalim GITI
Stewart James / Ed Wells HSBC
Julie Katzman / Matthieu Pegon IADB
Hans Peter Lankes / Kruskaia Sierra-Escalante IFC
Gavin Wilson IFC AMC (former)
Hendrik du Toit / Chris Newson Investec
Fuat Savas JP Morgan Chase
Lord Nicholas Stern LSE / NCE
Debra Schwartz MacArthur Foundation
Aron Betru / Chris Lee Milken Institute
Charlotte Petri-Gornitzka / Paul Horrocks OECD – DAC
Elizabeth Littlefield OPIC (former)
Lorenzo Bernasconi Rockefeller Foundation
Daniel Hanna / Katharine Steger / Deniz Harut Standard Chartered
Neo Gim Huay Temasek
Rick Samans / Alex Wong WEF

To learn more about the Blended Finance Taskforce, please see our consultation paper, Better Finance, Better World.