On March 11, the World Health Organization declared the spread of Covid-19 a global pandemic. The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has described the COVID-19 crisis as the most significant test humanity has faced since World War II. UNSG called for the creation of a $2 billion fund to support the most vulnerable countries during this crisis. But actual cost may require substantially more. For every bankruptcy, closed store, unpicked crop or drop in online orders, people will lose jobs and families will, in many cases, lose their only income.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) recently predicted that 25 million jobs could be lost worldwide as a result of COVID-19. For Africa – which should be creating 12-15 million jobs annually to keep up with a growing population – these figures could be catastrophic.The global downturn risks putting the continent into a negative, downward spiral.

On 23 June 2020, the Executive Board of the CFC approved the establishment of the Emergency Liquidity Facility under the authority of the Managing Director which will assist qualifying companies to cover the need for additional working capital caused by the pandemic.

On the whole, the developing countries need, in addition to support for their health sectors, is carefully thought out support packages to keep their economies afloat and protect micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) from going out of business. The mitigation drive to keep them afloat is, therefore, a huge challenge for CFC.


Scaling organic avocado oil from Kenyan smallholders

The CFC is supporting Olivado EPZ Limited (‘Olivado’) to expand the production and export of organic avocado oil. Olivado is among the world’s leading producers of organic avocado oil, directly sourcing the avocados from 2,200 smallholder farmers. From its processing facility in Kenya, it operates an integrated farmer-to-market model. The avocado oil is sold for export to traders and retailers in over 30 countries.


CFC appoints a new Managing Director

The Governing Council at its 31st Meeting in The Hague has decided to appoint H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Belal (Bangladesh) as the Managing Director of the CFC for a four-year term. Ambassador Belal was elected by consensus from a pool of six candidates for the post of Managing Director of the CFC on 4 December 2019.


Leveraging CFC resources and expertise through investment funds

According to the Global Impact Investing Network, assets under management of impact investors exceeded USD 500 billion in 2018. CFC’s project portfolio (which is 100% impact investing) is relatively small compared to figures like these. However, beyond managing assets, the CFC and other DFIs also play a catalytic role in attracting outside investors to the industry.