Success Story: Development Finance International Inc. (DFI)

Bridging Business and Development with Netherlands’ Partners

Among DFI’s proudest accomplishments are our long-term partnerships with Dutchdfintl_newblue organizations to address development needs and support sustainable business in emerging markets globally. 

Since DFI’s inception 30 years ago, and continuing through this day, DFI has worked closely with several Dutch corporate clients, The Netherlands Embassy in Washington, DC (and around the globe) and international funders such as the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and other public, private and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to tackle the most pressing challenges in critical areas including food security and sustainability, healthcare, climate change, and science and technology, among others.  

Food Security and Sustainability: DFI has helped over 1 million smallholder and commercial farmers increase their income, access quality inputs and develop sustainable value chains for Fortune 500 corporates. Given The Netherlands’ leadership and strong commitment to this sector, DFI has orchestrated transformational partnerships with the likes of FMO, IDH, Rabobank and FBK that bring together off-takers, suppliers and funders across Asia, Africa and Latin America to increase rural incomes and implement climate-smart agricultural practices.    

Health: In 2021-2022 alone, DFI, in close coordination with the Dutch Embassy (to ensure the integrity of World Bank guidelines were upheld), supported the transparent, competitive procurement and supply of millions of dollars of life-saving diagnostic equipment funded by the World Bank and other UN agencies in Ukraine, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, and Serbia to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, DFI partnered with a consortium of pharmaceutical companies, African R&D Centers, and CSOs to mobilize blended finance for a new  Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) treatment, which will be manufactured in Africa and could eventually reach 50 million children. Thanks to the Dutch Embassy introductions to the relevant stakeholders, DFI brought to the consortium’s attention a $15M grant opportunity by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) that can accelerate this initiative.  

Energy and Climate Change:  As the world copes with the current multiple energy crises (access & cost) and pressing climate change needs, DFI and its clients have been at the forefront of the energy transition, where our efforts focused on innovative financing structures, methods, and toolkits to deploy efficient lighting across the globe, among other things. Given the emerging opportunities in this area, DFI is actively looking to scale up its work with the hydrogen, battery & energy storage, and microgrid sectors, among others, all areas where the Dutch can significantly contribute with their capabilities and resources.     

Higher Education, Science and Technology:  As demand for higher education accelerates around the world, DFI has been working with one of its partners to develop the next generation of faculty, researchers, and students around the globe, and to support world class, locally relevant, science and technology. DFI has facilitated partnerships in diverse environments, such as Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Peru, to provide access to top quality scientific information and solutions, train researchers and faculty with state-of-the-art methods, and deliver evidence-based recommendations for R&D funding and evaluation.     

With our sights set on our next 30 years, DFI looks forward to expanding our successful partnerships with Dutch organizations, and developing new relationships as part of our efforts to help our clients achieve their business objectives around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Net Zero, and beyond.

Emilio Bunge