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IFC and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) bolster investment in IHS Fund II to promote sustainable housing in South Africa

Johannesburg, South Africa, July 24, 2014 -- IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced it would invest an additional $10 million for International Housing Solutions’ IHS Fund II, drawing from Global Environment Facility (GEF) funding to support the development of affordable “green” housing in South Africa.
This investment follows IFC’s $25 million previous commitment in IHS Fund II. The new funding from GEF will allow the Fund to invest in green homes certified by IFC’s EDGE green building standard. The EDGE standard is afforded to buildings using less energy and water than their peers, resulting in lower utility bills for home buyers as well as reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition to the GEF and IFC investments, the South Africa National Housing Finance Corporation has committed $30 million and the Eskom Pension Fund $10 million.
Stephanie Miller, World Bank Group Director for Climate Change, said, “South Africa is a priority country for IFC’s green building program. We are delighted that this additional commitment, using GEF financing, will help the IHS Fund II support sustainable as well as affordable housing in this market.”
IHS Fund II follows the success of the private equity investor’s first fund, the SA Workforce Housing Fund, which has enabled the development of more than 28 000 housing units with a combined value of more than ZAR 8.6 billion.
Soula Proxenos, Managing Partner at IHS Proxenos, said it was significant that the fund’s strategy will incorporate a strong “green” component especially as this was previously regarded as beyond the scope of affordable developments. “We believe we are breaking new ground and hope our approach will become a model of how to effectively use green building technology in the gap housing sector without the financially prohibitive aspects. Affordability is always one of the deciding factors with regards to new developments,” she said.
IHS is a pioneer fund manager in recognizing the potential of developing affordable housing, so-called “gap housing,” in developing markets.  It opened up a valuable new sector for its investors while helping thousands of families to afford a home of their own and start their journey to wealth creation through property ownership.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit
About the Global Environment Facility
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a partnership for international cooperation where 183 countries work together with international institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector, to address global environmental issues. The GEF serves as financial mechanism for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and the Minamata Convention on Mercury. It also works closely with the Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances. Since 1991, the GEF has provided $12.5 billion in grants and leveraged $58 billion in co-financing for 3,690 projects in 165 developing countries to support activities related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, and chemicals and waste in the context of development projects and programs.