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Red Cross launches war-zone rehabilitation bond

The International Committee of the Red Cross has created what it’s calling the first humanitarian impact bond, a $27.3 million private placement to finance services for people with disabilities in conflict zones.

The Red Cross will use the funds to build and run three new physical-rehabilitation centers in Nigeria, Mali and Democratic Republic of Congo, “providing services for thousands of people,” the organization said in a statement.

If the Red Cross hits targets for efficiency — the ratio of people that receive mobility devices per aid professional — “la Caixa” Foundation and the governments of Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and the UK will pay back investors with a return.

Kois Invest helped structure the bond, which was backed by New Re, a part of Munich Re Group, and other institutional and private investors brought to the table by Bank Lombard Odier.

The Red Cross has come under fire recently for how it spent donations after Hurricane Sandy and other disasters. Perhaps the new bond can improve efficiency, accountability and — most important — outcomes. Devex has a nice write-up on the new bond.

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