Momentum grows for bipartisan BUILD Act: Experts urge Congress to pass bill, bring private-sector money into fight against global poverty

WASHINGTON — On the heels of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s vote yesterday to advance S. 2463, the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act of 2018, 17 leading global poverty experts and organizations have sent a letter to leaders in Congress urging them to pass the bill.

“The BUILD Act would bring tens of billions of new private sector dollars into the fight against extreme poverty, helping build infrastructure, increasing first-time access to electricity, starting businesses, creating jobs, and ultimately reducing the need for American foreign assistance,” the letter reads. “America’s development-finance efforts have barely scratched the surface of their potential. Imagine how much change a modern and fully empowered development finance institution could enact… how many jobs it could create in developing in fragile countries…and how many communities could be empowered. We look to you to continue this progress and ask for your support of the BUILD Act, which will help the United States fulfill its longstanding commitment to fighting extreme global poverty.”

The letter’s signatories include: Africare, Ben Leo, CEO of Fraym, Business Council for Global Development (BCGD), David A. Weiss, President and CEO of Global Communities, Elizabeth L. Littlefield, former President and CEO of OPIC, Habitat for Humanity, Feed the Children, IMA World Health, International Rescue Committee, Islamic Relief USA, Lisa Lyford, Ph.D., College Professor of Biology, Mercy Corps, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), Nuru International, Robert Mosbacher, Jr., Co-Chair of the Consensus for Development Reform (CDR) and former President and CEO of OPIC, Todd Moss, Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development, and The ONE Campaign.

The full letter is available here.

About the BUILD Act

The bill, sponsored by Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Chris Coons (D-DE), and Congressmen Ted Yoho (R-FL-03) and Adam Smith (D-WA-09), would merge several federal programs into a new “development finance corporation” (DFC) whose purpose would be to mobilize private-sector investments to support sustainable economic growth, poverty reduction, and development through partnerships. The new DFC would make loans, invest, and forge partnerships with innovative entrepreneurs who want to do business in developing countries.

Learn more about the BUILD Act here.



CONTACT: Sean Simons at [email protected]