September 9, 2020
As prepared for delivery
Welcome to the September meeting of DFC’s Board of Directors. Today’s virtual gathering marks the final Board meeting of fiscal year 2020. I hope when we reconvene again in December it can be in person.
Including the projects before us today, DFC has approved $3.6 billion in investments in this quarter. In the midst of a pandemic, the DFC team has delivered the agency’s most productive quarter ever. I could not be more proud of the team for their work. Under these challenging circumstances, when DFC’s mission is more important than ever to the United States and the countries where we work, they’ve demonstrated what DFC is capable of when we work together.
These brief remarks afford me the opportunity to highlight only a handful of DFC activities from the past three months but I’ll share a few highlights. Since the Board last met, DFC has launched our new Impact Quotient—IQ--measurement tool that will help us evaluate the development impact of potential projects and monitor our active investments to ensure they are delivering strong benefits to the people of the developing world. We are also hard at work building out a regional team in Africa that will work to source deals in key sectors like critical infrastructure and technology. And, following a public comment period that showed strong support, we’ve modernized our policies to allow for investment in nuclear energy projects.
We also signed an MOU with the Government of Iraq to invest in development and announcing our intent to invest up to $1 billion in Honduras. Together with the White House’s Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, our 2X Women’s Initiative has targeted an additional $6billion of investment in women’s economic empowerment. Just last week, DFC—along with our sister agencies EXIM and MCC—supported the historic economic normalization between Serbia and Kosovo that was agreed to at the White House. We plan to send a DFC team to Belgrade in two weeks to advance DFC work in support of this historic agreement.
We continue to work to support projects that will build resilient health and sanitation systems to help countries respond to Covid-19 and prepare for future challenges. At the same time, we are focused on helping our clients manage liquidity shortfalls to help ensure the investment that is so needed can continue during this unprecedented time.
I just returned from a trip to the Middle East, where I traveled to Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and other countries in the region to explore ways we can build on the historic peace agreement between Israel and the UAE while creating sustained regional stability and opportunity. Last month, I visited Colombia, where National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien and I met with President Duque. Our discussions focused on ways our countries can advance shared goals of security and prosperity. Key to this effort is empowering the Colombian people in the rural areas of the country who are so essential to economic growth. In July, I traveled with Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad to Uzbekistan, Pakistan, and Qatar to explore opportunities to advance peace and economic recovery in Afghanistan.
DFC’s Board members have provided invaluable counsel on all our endeavors. I thank all of you for your dedication and support.
Our plate is full, to say the least. Looking at our work this past quarter, it is clear that the DFC team is up to the task.