Letter from the MB of the Programme Manager

Dear reader,

In 2022 the global economy faced an intensification of political and economic upheaval, first and foremost caused by Russia’s invasion in Ukraine. The war that followed caused untold human suffering and led to dangerous stress on global trade systems, in particular in the energy- and (agricultural) commodities markets.   

The poorest economies, where poverty reduction had already slowed down significantly, now face a particularly grim economic outlook and an immense lack of fiscal space while climate change continues to challenge the resilience of society. Development finance institutions such as FMO will need to intensify their operations in the coming years to encourage the flow of private finance to meet sustainable investment needs in these societies.

In close consultation with our stakeholders, we updated our strategy towards 2030. In our ‘Pioneer-Develop-Scale’ strategy the role of our public funds and facilities is pivotal. These help us explore higher-risk opportunities and markets to make them ready for additional private investments.

Our long-standing track record in managing public funds to catalyse private finance, has contributed to a significant expansion of our responsibilities. Over the past few years, FMO set up facilities and investment programs with the European Commission and the Green Climate fund. In 2021, the UK government also decided to entrust FMO with the management of the UK's Mobilising Finance for Forests programme (MFF).

MFF was launched with a £ 150 mln commitment from the UK Government’s International Forests Unit. The programme aims to accelerate private investments in the forestry and sustainable land use sectors, such as to combat deforestation and other unsustainable land use practices that contribute to climate change. 

MFF has been actively raising awareness about the ability of blended finance to unlock investment opportunities in forestry. The programme is bridging the gap and building partnerships that combine private sector investing with best practice environmental and social standards that support employment and respect local communities and biodiversity. 

In 2022, MFF concretised its efforts by signing two new investments. These include a repayable development contribution of US$ 2.5 mln provided to Treevive, and a debt investment of US$ 3 mln into Ecua America Teak. 

In 2023, developing countries will continue to see hardship and a variety of challenges. To support them, courage and ambition are imperative in the deployment of FMOs public funds and facilities, especially against the background of the ongoing climate crisis. We will continue to generate investments that create equal opportunities and equitable access to finance, that protect the value of ecosystems and forests, that provide access to renewable energy and that help build up fair value chains in agriculture.

The Hague, 31 March 2023

On behalf of the Management Board

Fatoumata Bouaré, Chief Finance & Operations Officer
Franca Vossen, Chief Risk Officer
Huib-Jan de Ruijter, Co-Chief Investment Officer
Michael Jongeneel, Chief Executive Officer
Peter Maila, Co-Chief Investment Officer