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ONE endorses new bipartisan bill to bring private-sector funds into global poverty fight

WASHINGTON — The ONE Campaign today applauded the bipartisan, bicameral introduction of the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development Act (BUILD) Act (HR 5105 and S 2463), which would bring tens of billions of dollars in new private-sector investment into the fight against extreme global poverty by helping innovative American entrepreneurs build infrastructure projects, create first-time access to electricity, start businesses, and expand their reach in growing markets. Yesterday, over 150 global poverty advocates from nearly every state were on Capitol Hill to urge leaders in Congress to support the BUILD Act and to fully fund America’s development assistance programs.

Tom Hart, North America executive director at The ONE Campaign:

“Yesterday, leaders from both parties came together to introduce a bill that would bring tens of billions of new private-sector dollars into the fight against extreme poverty in developing countries. This good proposal is not a replacement for foreign aid, but rather a valuable complement to the important, life-saving work that American aid already does.

“Time and time again, we’ve seen how American generosity saves lives, spurs economic growth, creates jobs, makes us safer and lifts millions out of poverty. But foreign assistance isn’t the only tool in America’s development toolbox. The investment of America’s private sector in the economic growth of developing countries could be a transformative force for good, but is currently massively under-utilized.

“The BUILD Act would leverage new private-sector capital to build infrastructure, create first-time access to electricity, start businesses, create jobs, and ultimately reduce the need for American foreign aid to developing countries. It will give the U.S. government new tools for partnering with entrepreneurs and leveraging non-taxpayer dollars, while making it easier for American businesses to operate in emerging markets.

“Senators Corker and Coons, and Congressmen Yoho and Smith should be applauded for their leadership in sponsoring this bipartisan bill that would accelerate the modernization of America’s engagement with the private sector in developing countries while reforming federal government programs to make them more efficient. The ONE Campaign and its over 2 million members in the United States plan to aggressively campaign to help this good bill become law.”

About the BUILD Act

The bill will establish a full-service, self-sustaining U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, reforming and streamlining the tools of OPIC, USAID’s Development Credit Authority, Enterprise Funds and office of Private Capital and Microenterprise. It will have a full suite of tools including the authority to:

  • Issue direct loans, including local currency loans
  • Issue guarantees, including local currency guarantees
  • Provide political risk insurance
  • Fund first losses
  • Participate in equity investments
  • Provide technical assistance
  • Make limited grants to unlock larger investments
  • Do feasibility studies for prospective investments