MFAN Hails Final Passage of BUILD Act and the Modernizing of U.S. Development Finance

October 3, 2018 (WASHINGTON) – This statement is delivered on behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) by Co-Chairs George Ingram, Lester Munson, and Tessie San Martin.

The Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network welcomes final passage of the bipartisan Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act of 2018 (H.R. 5105/S. 2463) following today’s passage in the Senate and earlier approval in the House. The BUILD Act authorizes a new International Development Finance Corporation (IDFC) and establishes a wider set of development finance tools.

MFAN has advocated for development finance reform and has engaged with Congress on this legislation to promote a consistent development mandate, transparency, strong linkages to USAID, and learning and evaluation systems. MFAN is pleased that these considerations were incorporated into the legislation.

Once the bill is signed into law, the administration will have 120 days to submit a plan to Congress for the new IDFC. MFAN will continue to advocate for a strong commitment to development outcomes, robust ties with USAID, and a commitment to transparency and accountability.

“The U.S. government’s capability to mobilize private development finance has not been adequate to U.S. interests and values. The BUILD Act will update the financing tools the U.S. needs to support private sector activity and inclusive economic growth in developing countries,” said Lester Munson, MFAN Co-Chair and Principal at BGR Group.

“Throughout the process, we called for a strong development mandate, transparency, and social and environmental safeguards in this bill,” said George Ingram, MFAN Co-Chair and Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution. “The BUILD Act expands U.S. development financing tools while carrying over important accountability and development standards.”

“Passing the BUILD Act is an important step in maximizing the effectiveness of U.S. development finance,” said Tessie San Martin, MFAN Co-Chair and President & CEO of Plan International USA. “Moving forward, the new IDFC will need to work hand-in-hand with USAID and Congress to help partner countries successfully address poverty, sustainability and inequality.”

MFAN wishes to thank the bill sponsors, Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Chris Coons (D-DE), and Representatives Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Adam Smith (D-WA), for their continuing leadership in maximizing development impact. MFAN urges the President to sign the bill into law straightaway and looks forward to working with Congress, the administration and the development community to implement this legislation.

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