- Transforming financing of aid in conflict-hit countries
Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), on a pro bono basis, in relation to its innovative funding mechanism to encourage social investment from the private sector.
The funds raised by the ICRC will be used to build and run three new physical rehabilitation centres in Africa (Nigeria, Mali and Democratic Republic of Congo) over a five year period. The centres will provide support through physiotherapy and mobility devices including wheelchairs, artificial limbs and braces for thousands of people. The payment-by-results programme also includes necessary training for staff as well as the testing and implementation of new efficiency initiatives.
The funding mechanism is structured as a private placement with the return payments being supported by the international development agencies of Belgium, Italy, Switzerland and the United Kingdom and the La Caixa Foundation. Initial payments by ‘social investors’ enable the ICRC to run activities at each rehabilitation centre and expand the ICRC's physical rehabilitation programme. A rising number of conflicts as well as a growing annual budget of the ICRC are the driving forces for this innovative funding model.
Farmida Bi, partner, Norton Rose Fulbright, comments:
“This funding instrument is an innovative solution that will assist ICRC in serving thousands who are in most need of humanitarian support. Non-traditional financing models such as this have the potential to scale up by accessing funds from the private sector, where social impact investment is seen as increasingly attractive. We were delighted to have been asked by the ICRC to work with them in developing this important initiative.”
Tobias Epprecht, Head of Project - Humanitarian Impact Bond, ICRC, comments:
"The ICRC is very grateful for the professional and valuable pro bono support provided by Norton Rose Fulbright. It allowed not only to provide more vital services to people in need but also enabled the ICRC to deepen its understanding of such innovative funding mechanisms as it seeks ways to broaden its funding base."
The Norton Rose Fulbright team was led by Farmida Bi assisted by senior associates Mark Brighouse and Andrew Coote. The team also included corporate partner Imogen Garner and senior associate Gavinder Punia.
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