June 3, 2020
As prepared for delivery
Welcome to DFC’s first-ever virtual Board meeting. I regret that we’re not able to meet in person today. I hope that all of you and your families are safe and healthy. The world changed since our last Board meeting on March 11. DFC, like your agencies and companies, has been on full telework since mid-March. We’ve watched COVID-19 spread around the world and at home. The Administration is mounting an unprecedented response that I’m proud to have supported along with many of you.
I’m proud of how the DFC family has responded to the difficult circumstances we’re facing. We have exemplified our values of grit, ingenuity, caring, unity, and service these past several months as we’ve addressed one hurdle after another in carrying out our mission. The Board agenda before us today is a testament to this team’s resilience, creativity, and hard work under the most challenging of circumstances.
The volume of projects being considered at today’s Board meeting is one of the largest in our history, with $1 billion across investments spanning emerging markets around the world. The Board will also consider DFC’s first transactions using equity and technical development. These projects show the promise of the BUILD Act and how DFC is already taking important steps to meet our development mandate.
I appreciate the Board’s quick approval of DFC’s Rapid Response Liquidity Facility. This key component of DFC’s response to COVID-19 provides up to $4 billion in financing for existing DFC projects so that they can have their intended impact.
Recently, the agency issued a call for proposals under a new Health and Prosperity Initiative. DFC will invest up to $2 billion in health care solutions with the goal of creating greater health resilience in developing countries. Already we are seeing a strong response, with over 160 proposals so far.
Lastly, DFC was recently delegated additional authorities under President Trump’s Executive Order on the Defense Production Act. Under DPA, DFC will have the tools to strengthen the American domestic industrial base and ensure self-reliance and resiliency in critical supply chains. Rest assured that DFC remains unwavering in its commitment to invest in developing countries. DFC’s $60 billion in capital remains separate from DPA funds; we are hiring a separate DPA deal team, and these authorities are time-limited to two years.
DFC is well situated to support this critical priority given our investment experience, global lens, and track record of working with the private sector. I am confident in DFC’s ability to secure a stronger, safer America in these trying times while at the same time continuing our development mandate and helping those in need around the world.
In closing, the projects you will see today serve as clear evidence that America continues to lead the world in financing solutions to the most critical development challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. We have responded quickly and decisively, bringing liquidity to the market, supporting companies impacted by the virus, and promoting new investment in global health, safety, and economic sustainability.
Our efforts could not happen without the steady leadership and support of the Board. Thank you.