The World Bank (IBRD) has issued a US$350 million bond that raises funds for its development activities around the world, while highlighting four of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The sole investor in the bond is the Folksam Group, one of Sweden’s leading insurance and investment management companies.
The World Bank issues between US$50-US$60 billion in the global capital markets every year, and proceeds of all its bond support development programs that are aligned with the SDGs. This includes, for example, projects that are creating access to health care for uninsured women and children in Argentina; improving the quality of primary and maternal healthcare in Swaziland; improving waste management in six urban districts in China; upgrading water and sanitation facilities to improve the lives of women and children in India; and supporting the rehabilitation of a coral reef in Indonesia.
Arunma Oteh, World Bank Vice President and Treasurer, said: “The global community has made an ambitious commitment to achieve the SDGs, and this requires a new way of looking at development finance. Through our partnership with the Folksam Group, we are able to offer a bond that supports specific development priorities for Swedish investors while raising funding for all our operations that are aligned with all SDGs. Engagement with investors like Folksam is key to linking investment to impact, defining effective reporting mechanisms and supporting the development of sustainable investment products and capital markets.”
Mahmoud Mohieldin, World Bank Group Senior VP for the 2030 Development Agenda, UN Relations and Partnership, said: “To achieve the SDGs, we have to focus on building capacity of development actors at the local level to finance and deliver services that change the lives of people in their communities. By working with investors like Folksam, we can leverage capital markets globally to support action towards the SDGs locally.”
Jens Henriksson, President and CEO, the Folksam Group, said: “Working for a sustainable world is at the core of the Folksam Group’s values. The 17 SDGs constitute a solid foundation for achieving sustainable development within business and society. While we support all 17 SDGs, through engagement with our clients, we have chosen to focus on four specific SDGs within our sustainability strategy. These are good health and well-being, gender equality, responsible consumption and production and climate action.”