The Indian Diaspora Investment Initiative: Leveraging Remittances for Development

By Simone Schenkel

President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greet attendees of the U.S.-India CEO Forum  in New Delhi, India. Photo Courtesy of the White House Photo via Pete Souza.

In a recent trip to India, President Obama announced the creation of the Indian Diaspora Investment Initiative, a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Calvert Foundation partnership that allows Indian-Americans to use would-be remittances to support key sectors such as financial inclusion, health, education, and agriculture.

While remittances have long been viewed as critical to supporting low-income countries, most funds are transmitted directly to households rather than to community resources. Through this public-private partnership, investors large and small will be able purchase Community Investment Notes later this year through the Calvert Foundation to fund a variety of social enterprise projects. Continue reading

Weekly Roundup

This week in development…

U.S. Development Policy/International Organizations

  • In light of Davos, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim reflects on the state of the global economy. Kim points out that the predicted growth of the world’s economy is lower than initially estimated and notes the “uncertain [economic] environment.” He brings up the challenges but also the potential solutions for the global economy going forward, all while emphasizing the importance of working together.
  • At a discussion of the post-2015 development agenda on Monday, 10 top UN human rights experts stressed the need to make human rights and accountability a major focus of the SDGs. The experts urged Member States to include explicit references to freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly in goal 16 of the SDGs.
  • The international vaccine alliance GAVI raised around $7.5 billion to immunize around 300 million children in developing countries by the year 2020 at a donor conference in Berlin. The largest single donor was the United Kingdom, which pledged $1.573 billion. The second leading donor was the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ($1.550 Billion) followed by Norway and the United States.

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