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IFC and Denmark Strengthen Cooperation to Fight Poverty in Developing Countries

Washington, D.C., October 10, 2010 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the government of Denmark have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on strategic cooperation for private sector development in developing countries during the World Bank Group Annual Meetings. The focus is Sub-Saharan Africa, fragile and conflict-affected states, climate change, and gender equality.
Under the MOU, Denmark will contribute 25 million Danish kroner for selected IFC Advisory Services projects in fragile and conflict-affected states in Sub-Saharan Africa, and for projects focusing on gender equality. Denmark will also help increase cooperation between IFC and Danish companies, institutional investors, pension funds, the Industrialization Fund for Developing Countries, and other Danish entities.
“The new strategy for Danish development assistance has a strong focus on initiatives that support the development of the private sector in developing countries,” said Søren Pind, Danish Minister of Development Cooperation. “The private sector has a key role in fostering sustainable economic growth and job creation, which lift people out of poverty. IFC shares the purpose of Danish development assistance, which is to set people free and thereby enable them to escape poverty.”
IFC Executive Vice President and CEO Lars Thunell said: “The global economic crisis has underscored the importance of working closely with our partners in setting policy and strengthening market incentives for business activities that create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. Sustainable markets and a vibrant private sector are essential to creating jobs and achieving lasting solutions to poverty.”
The Denmark-IFC partnership will ensure a strategic approach to maximize development impact. In fragile and conflict-affected countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, funds from the Danish government will help IFC Advisory Services improve the business environment, rebuild financial markets, promote microfinance, and stimulate private sector investment in infrastructure. Danish contributions will also help promote gender equality.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit .
DANIDA, the Danish International Development Assistance agency, focuses on five priorities: growth and employment; freedom, democracy and human rights; gender equality; stability and fragility; and environment and climate.  These are interconnected and essential for fighting poverty and reaching the Millennium Development Goals. For more information, visit .