WEF calls for new partnerships to help fragile communities
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has called for new collaboration between humanitarian and development organisations, 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.
A paper, "Catalysing Market-Driven Solutions to Strengthen Community and Economy Resilience", released on Wednesday, outlines a practical approach to how organisations 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," said Borge Brende, president of the WEF. "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."
Ikea Foundation is a partner in 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 WEF annual meeting 2019 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.
As a first step, the initiative will operationalise the "Organisational Readiness Playbook" launched in 2020, and bring together a cohort of pioneers from humanitarian and development organisations, donor governments and development finance institutions to increase organisational 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.
For over 50 years, the WEF has been the international organisation for public-private cooperation. The annual meeting is the focal point for leaders to accelerate the partnerships needed to tackle global challenges and shape a more sustainable and inclusive future. Convening under the theme "History at a Turning Point: Government Policies and Business Strategies", the annual meeting 2022 and its 450 sessions brings together global leaders from business, government and civil society.