A funding model launched by the Red Cross aims to attract private capital to conflict zones to help some of the world’s neediest people, while giving investors a return on their money.
The Humanitarian Impact Bond set up by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) with a value of 26 million Swiss francs (US$27.5 million), has attracted capital from New Re, part of global reinsurer Munich Re Group, among other investors.
The money is to be used to build and run three rehabilitation centers for disabled people in Nigeria, Mali and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, complete with staff who are to be trained in physiotherapy and producing prosthetic limbs, the ICRC said.
It is the first time the ICRC has used such a funding model — channeling private capital investments rather than relying only on government or philanthropic donations for humanitarian projects.
“If it works well, we will implement, scale up and use our expertise in other centers around the world,” ICRC director-general Yves Daccord said.
The initial investment is to be repaid with an additional return by the Belgian, British, Italian and Swiss governments and the Spanish foundation la Caixa after five years if the centers outperform expectations.
However, if the scheme does badly, both the investors and the ICRC face the risk of losing money.
“We thought that for us and for everyone, it’s good that we also have skin in the game,” Daccord said.
In an era of more and more protracted humanitarian crises and where traditional funding sources are over-stretched, there is a need for new funding tools, Daccord said.
“We need to have new corporate investors willing to join us and take risks to invest in us,” he added.
The construction of the disability centers was chosen for the scheme because of the ICRC’s wide experience in the field.
Last year, the ICRC operated 139 projects in 34 countries, helping nearly 330,000 people with physiotherapy and providing wheelchairs, artificial limbs and braces, the Red Cross said.
“This funding instrument is a radical, innovative, but at the same time, logical step for the ICRC,” ICRC president Peter Maurer said in a statement. “It is an opportunity not only to modernize the existing model for humanitarian action, but to test a new economic model designed to better support people in need.”
‘ACCORDING TO PLAN’: A company official said that it has set up production sites worldwide to provide services and that its Wisconsin project was going smoothly Hon Hai Precision Industry Co’s (鴻海精密) smart manufacturing center in Wisconsin would begin trial manufacturing in the middle of this year, the company said yesterday, adding that it plans to build a research institute to develop key technologies to support growth over the next five years. Hon Hai, known internationally as Foxconn Technology Group (富士康科技集團), said in an annual report submitted to the Taiwan Stock Exchange that its planned Foxconn Institute for Research in Science and Technology would conduct research into artificial intelligence, next-generation communications, quantum computing, cybersecurity and nano semiconductors in Taiwan. Hon Hai is to make products at the center
TV and online retailer Momo.com Inc (富邦媒體) yesterday said it has set up a new logistics subsidiary, Fu Sheng Logistics Co (富昇物流), to oversee the company’s extensive shipping operations. Leveraging Momo’s 23 satellite warehouses and distribution centers nationwide, Fu Sheng will be in charge of executing the retailer’s same-day shipment plan for deliveries in Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, Momo said in a press release. Seeking to further shorten its supply chain, the company is to set up another seven satellite warehouses and distribution centers by the end of the year. “Fu Sheng has a fleet of 200 couriers
STAYING AHEAD: Fitch said that TSMC remains technologically ahead of others, but Samsung is building a new chip fab, while China is investing in its domestic industry As escalating US-China tensions and COVID-19-related production disruptions force US technology supply chains to transform, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) US$12 billion chip fabrication plant in Arizona would be key to spurring greater US production of core semiconductor components, Fitch Ratings said. “We view the US-TSMC alliance as a first step in building a more autonomous US technology supply chain, given high barriers to entry, specifically related to the significant capital and design capability required for leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing,” Fitch said in a statement on Tuesday. “By working with TSMC, US chipmakers will not face the financial burden of incremental investment
E Ink Holdings Inc (元太科技), the world’s sole supplier of e-paper displays for e-readers and shelf labels, posted its best quarterly net profit for the first quarter in nine years amid increased demand during a traditionally slow season. Net profit soared 80 percent to NT$787 million (US$26.23 million) in the quarter ended March 31, compared with NT$438 million a year earlier. That translated into earnings per share of NT$0.69, up from NT$0.39. E Ink posted lower royalty income of NT$371.23 million last quarter from NT$448.74 million a year earlier, a company financial statement showed. E Ink said that it expects royalty income to