ONE applauds the House Foreign Affairs Committee for advancing new bipartisan bill to bring private-sector money into fight against poverty

WASHINGTON — Following today’s markup in the House Foreign Affairs Committee of H.R. 5105, the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act, The ONE Campaign issued the below statement praising the Committees’ progress.

Today, two dozen ONE faith leaders from across the country are on Capitol Hill to urge leaders in Congress to support and cosponsor the BUILD Act.

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

“The best tool for fighting extreme poverty is a good job. Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed a bipartisan bill that will help bring tens of billions of private-sector dollars into the fight against extreme poverty by helping American entrepreneurs and investors do business in Africa, building infrastructure projects, creating first-time access to electricity, and expanding their reach in developing countries.

“This bill is a smart, innovative approach to helping developing countries and will serve as a valuable complement to the important work that American foreign assistance does to save lives, spur economic growth and lift millions out of poverty. This bill will also help catch America up with major economic competitors, including China, which have had similar development finance corporations for years.

“Representatives Yoho and Smith should be applauded for sponsoring this bill. We also thank Representatives Royce and Engel for their strong leadership in helping advance this bill forward. The ONE Campaign and its over 3 million members in the United States will continue to aggressively campaign on behalf of this legislation until this good idea becomes law.”

About the BUILD Act

The bill, which is sponsored by Senators Corker (R-TN) and Coons (D-DE), and Congressmen Yoho (R-FL-03) and Smith (D-WA-09), 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

For additional information about the bill or to speak with an expert, contact Sean Simons at: [email protected].