Heightened climate-related disasters, increased geopolitical strife, protracted crises, and the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbate difficulties facing the 2 billion people living in fragile contexts. Traditional humanitarian and development responses are always needed, but these responses are no longer sufficient to keep up with the scale, duration and complexity of crises. There is need to augment these responses by unlocking part of the $200 trillion of invested private capital to finance return-generating investments that complement traditional humanitarian and development response. The opportunity to leverage private capital is reinforced by increasing investor demand for returns with positive social impact.
The Humanitarian and Resilience Investing (HRI) Initiative seeks to accelerate and shape the market for investments that enhance resilience and support humanitarian response in fragile contexts. The Initiative is co-chaired by the World Economic Forum, Credit Suisse, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Netherlands, and the World Bank Group, with support from Boston Consulting Group, and IMD Business School serving as academic partner.
The initiative, which was launched at the World Economic Forum Annual-Meeting in Davos-Klosters in January 2019, brings together investors, corporations, donors, humanitarian organizations, and development finance institutions to build new partnerships that catalyze the development of Humanitarian and Resilience Investing ecosystem. Specifically, the Initiative is driving towards this goal through three mutually reinforcing objectives:
1. Cultivating compelling proof-of-concept projects that leverage investor capital to build resilience as exemplars for the broader ecosystem with a sectoral focus on WASH, food & agriculture, and energy.
2. Enhancing organizational readiness of humanitarian and development actors to strengthen public-private collaboration by equipping the community with tools and capabilities.
3. Mainstreaming the Humanitarian and Resilience Investing theme by articulating standards, developing frameworks, and enhancing the data landscape, to help the investor community conceptualize how best to allocate capital for impact.
The initiative currently operates at two levels:
• High-Level Group on Humanitarian and Resilience Investing, comprised of senior decision- and change-makers, that promote multi-stakeholder collaboration and define priority areas to create a humanitarian and resilience investing market;
• Activated Community of Practice, which includes the world’s leading practitioners that collaborate on operationalizing the initiative’s objectives.