DFC CEO Scott Nathan Remarks at Democracy Delivers Event at the UN General Assembly

CEO Scott Nathan

September 20, 2023

New York, NY

As prepared for delivery

Thank you, Samantha, for your introduction and for your leadership.

I want to thank all our partners from government, the private sector, and philanthropies for coming together to redouble our support for these critical efforts.

One year after USAID launched this important initiative, I am proud to report on some of the significant investments DFC is making in democracies pursuing a reform agenda.

In the year since USAID launched Democracy Delivers, my organization, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, or DFC, has invested more than $1.6 billion in countries that are part of the initiative.

DFC’s support here, and all our work, is guided by a belief that unleashing the power of private capital and cultivating a robust private sector is critical to driving sustainable development and economic growth.

DFC is using its full suite of tools, including loans, equity investments, political risk insurance, and technical assistance, to invest in and with the private sector in democratic bright spots to help them meet the needs of their people.

In Nepal, we are providing technical assistance to support the development of hydropower, a potential source of clean, reliable energy for millions across the country.

In Malawi, DFC’s $25 million investment in Golomoti Solar is providing support for a new solar energy plant, delivering electricity to the national power grid that will directly benefit businesses and communities.

In Tanzania, we are providing a lending facility to local financial institutions to allow more women and low-income borrowers to qualify for a mortgage.

And in Ecuador, we have made a series of investments over the past year, including in solar power, modern hospitals, and support for small businesses.

DFC also provided $150 million in support for the modernization of the Yilport Terminal at Puerto Bolívar.

This high-quality infrastructure project will create jobs in El Oro province and connect more of Ecuador’s communities to the opportunities of a global marketplace.

Earlier this year, DFC also contributed to the largest debt-for-nature swap in history, providing $656 million in political risk insurance to the Galápagos Marine Bond.

This innovative transaction represents a triple win for Ecuador’s economy, its people, and environment—reducing debt, protecting one of the world’s most dynamic ecosystems from illegal overfishing, and generating funding for conservation.

Investments in nine Democracy Delivers countries are included in DFC’s portfolio.

With every investment we make, DFC brings more than private capital.

We carry with us high standards for labor, social issues, and for the environment.

We support projects that respect local conditions and reflect our values.

We focus on the rule of law and promote high standards for openness and transparency.

These values encourage investment and greater opportunity. And they are also at the heart of every vibrant democracy.

When private capital promotes high standards and governments commit to democratic reforms, a virtuous cycle can develop.

When the rules are fair and enforceable, businesses are more likely to invest.

When worker rights are respected, and local communities can voice their concerns, projects are more likely to be successful.

And, when citizens have the freedom to explore ideas and the financial tools to bring them to life, entrepreneurship and innovation are more likely to flourish.

The United States through DFC is building on the support we provided over the past year. DFC is today announcing $107.5 million in new investments, including support for three projects in Nepal.

DFC is providing financing to Siddhartha Bank to increase the bank’s capacity to support the small businesses that are the engines of every dynamic economy.

In partnership with USAID, we are also making two additional, smaller investments at Nepalese banks, one supporting lending in the EV sector and the other promoting sustainable transportation.

These are just a few examples of what our democracies can do together. Stay tuned, because there is more to come.

We look forward to working with your governments, with philanthropies, and with the private sector to find additional ways to invest in the well-being of your people and support your democracies in delivering for your citizens.

Thank you.