Taking place between 9-12 November 2020 during the Paris Peace Forum, the Finance in Common Summit is a global meeting of all public developments banks. The Summit stressed the crucial role of Public Development Banks in reconciling short-term countercyclical responses with sustainable recovery measures that will have a long-term impact on the planet and societies.
On 12 November, Matt Reed spoke at the Summit on the topic of ‘social investment’. His comments as follows.
I’m Matt Reed, Global Director of Institutional Partnerships for the Aga Khan Foundation and CEO of AKF here in London. It is my pleasure to represent the Aga Khan Development Network at the Finance in Common Summit today and especially on this important topic of social investment.
The AKDN has been investing in social infrastructure and institutions for over a century – our Network began by building schools and health clinics, by creating rural credit and insurance associations. This has remained fundamental to our approach over the past 100 years — helping communities create their own social safety nets, helping them be ready to help each other in times of crisis.
During that time, we have partnered extensively with Public Development Banks – the Agence Française de Développement, or Germany’s KfW; global institutions like Asian Development Bank or the World Bank – but also with national institutions like India’s National Bank for Agriculture and Development, among many others.
As a result of these long-term investments in social infrastructure and capacity, sometimes over generations, AKDN was ready to respond quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic everywhere we are present: mobilising over 60,000 community organisations to promote awareness and prevention; responding through treatment and testing in over 750 health facilities; and helping thousands of students and teachers adapt to the learning crisis that affected so many children globally (learn more about AKDN’s COVID-19 response).
“To be ready for the next pandemic, the next economic crisis, the coming climate crisis, we must build strong foundations, strong health and education systems, strong social institutions that can help countries weather these storms.”
Matt Reed, Global Director of Institutional Partnerships, Aga Khan Foundation
And so as we now think about “building back better,” AKDN strongly supports the conclusions of the Finance in Common summit that this must be a green recovery – building back must be done in a way that helps save our planet.
At the same time, AKDN encourages Public Development Banks to learn another vital lesson from this pandemic: fundamental investments in health and social systems are critical. To be ready for the next pandemic, the next economic crisis, the coming climate crisis, we must build strong foundations, strong health and education systems, strong social institutions that can help countries weather these storms.
With this in mind then, we want to thank the Finance in Common Summit again for inviting the Aga Khan Development Network to speak today. We look forward to this discussion of the crucial role that Public Development Banks have in shaping the remaining pandemic response, as well as the longer term recovery. And we look forward to continuing our partnerships with so many of you to advance the development priorities of the countries and communities we serve together.