November 26, 2022

World Economic Forum calls for new partnerships to generate private capital for fragile communities

Per Heggenes, Chief Executive Officer, IKEA Foundation, Netherlands speaking during the Session "Humanitarian Investing: Unlocking New Capital" at the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre during the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa, Jordan 2019. Copyright by World Economic Forum / Faruk Pinjo
Per Heggenes, Chief Executive Officer, IKEA Foundation, Netherlands speaking during the Session "Humanitarian Investing: Unlocking New Capital" at the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre during the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa, Jordan 2019. Copyright by World Economic Forum / Faruk Pinjo

Last updated on August 14th, 2022 at 09:55 am

  • A World Economic Forum discussion paper describes how new types of partnerships can unlock impact at scale through long-term and market-driven solutions for humanitarian needs.
  • New opportunities are emerging for corporates and investors to expand involvement in humanitarian contexts beyond philanthropy and charity.
  • The paper highlights the work of the Humanitarian and Resilience Investing (HRI) Initiative, which harnesses private capital to strengthen the resilience of the most vulnerable communities and economies.
  • Forum more information on the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2022 visit www.wef.ch/wef22

The World Economic Forum on Tuesday released a paper that calls for new collaboration between humanitarian and development organizations, businesses, investors and entrepreneurs to make a difference to the lives of the nearly 1 billion people living in fragile and conflict-affected settings worldwide.

Cultivating Investment Opportunities in Fragile Contexts: Catalysing Market-Driven Solutions to Strengthen Community and Economy Resilience outlines a practical approach to how organizations can build the capacity and strategic thinking needed to develop a sustainable business case for solutions that have the potential to unlock new sources of finance to reach impact at scale.

“It takes more than a single intervention to unleash transformational change in complex ecosystems. To truly leverage the potential for positive and sustainable social impact while meeting investor demand for returns, new ways of collaboration across sectors are needed,” said Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum.

The IKEA foundation is a partner of this initiative. Over the next three years the partnership will develop innovative business models and investments that strengthen local economies and increase the self-reliance and resilience of the most vulnerable communities and economies.

“We support the World Economic Forum because of our mutual goal to improve the lives of people who are affected by crises, including those who are forced to flee,” said IKEA Foundation CEO Per Heggenes. “We believe that together we can help attract the investment needed to strengthen fragile communities and empower the people who live in them to rebuild their lives and create a better future for children and their families.”

The joint discussion paper is an evolution of the work initiated by the Forum’s Humanitarian and Resilience Investing (HRI) Initiative, which was launched at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.



As a first step, the initiative will operationalize the Organizational Readiness Playbook launched in 2020, and bring together a cohort of pioneers from humanitarian and development organizations, donor governments and development finance institutions to increase organizational capacity for HRI.

The initiative will also support investment opportunities targeting HRI to meet investor criteria and attract the commercial capital needed to reach scale. It will further facilitate the development of new tools, research and resources, including the standards, common terminology and analytic frameworks that allow for systems-level impact measurement.

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