With less than a decade to address critically climate change and the other UN SDGs, the pressure is on to find innovative and inclusive solutions. The pre-COVID US$2-3 trillion annual SDG financing gap in developing economies has increased to an estimated $4-5 trillion per year. Given this financing gap, the global financial system is positioned to play an integral and increasingly important role in addressing the gap. However, much of the architecture of the global financial system was built without designing for the unique needs of developing economies, designing for environmental responsibility, gender equality, or equality more broadly.
The Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) movement has promoted rebuilding the financial system to consider these risks better, but even deeper integration of these considerations is fundamental for post-COVID recovery and deceleration of climate change. And both of these battles are fundamentally intertwined with gender equality:
Building ‘Forward’ Better: The COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing conflicts worldwide, and the climate crisis have jointly exacerbated the regressive effects on gender inequality – as a result, the eradication of the global gender pay gap is now set back by over a century. Women were almost twice as likely to lose their livelihoods during the pandemic, due to various factors such as disproportionate childcare burdens to labor market asymmetries. Building forward better underscores an opportunity to redress these failures and re-structure economies that better integrate and empower women. Closing the gender-regressive gap in the workforce could add up to US$13 trillion to global GDP by 2030. In light of this substantial economic impact, gender equality must be central to post-COVID recovery.
3rd annual report demonstrates initial impact of the Fund’s 18 million diverse, global portfolio
NEW YORK | July 18, 2022 – The Rockefeller Foundation released its annual Zero Gap Fund: 2021 State of the Portfolio report capturing the crucial role that catalytic capital plays in enabling investment solutions to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. Across its seven investments to date, the Fund has mobilized $582 million in private finance toward a diverse portfolio of high-impact investment strategies. The Fund added two investments in 2021, bringing total commitments to $18 million of the $30 million fund.
The Zero Gap Fund was launched in 2019 in partnership with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. It deploys patient, risk-tolerant, and flexible capital into promising, impact-driven financial strategies and mechanisms that seek to boost large-scale private investment in advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Innovative financial mechanisms like those supported by the Zero Gap Fund demonstrate the power of catalytic capital to cultivate and scale impact-driven investment strategies. With the SDGs being undercut by Covid-19, climate change, and other crises, the need is both critical and urgent for investment solutions that marry impact and return and mobilize significant private capital to such strategies” said Maria Kozloski, Senior Vice President, Innovative Finance, The Rockefeller Foundation. “As the Zero Gap Fund’s portfolio matures, we are seeing encouraging results even in the face of broader instability in the market.”
To define a way forward for more to participate in building a gender-equal future.
June 9th, Singapore – Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) has made a big step forward in revolutionizing gender lens investing with the launch of the Orange Bond Initiative™, the world’s first asset class by and for the Global South and the 99% as a solution to financing gender equality. Trailblazing representatives across public, private sectors, and civil society gathered at the Orange Bond Initiative™ inaugural Steering Committee meeting on 19th May, 2022 to mark the moment in history. The meeting addressed the fundamentals of practices in revolutionizing gender lens investing to further push the boundaries that build a gender-empowered financial system.