What is the MIF?
The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) seeks to promote economic growth and reduce poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean. It was created in 1993 by 21 donor countries and is part of the Inter-American Development Bank Group.
The MIF is the largest provider of technical assistance for private sector development in the Latin American and Caribbean region. We design and finance pilot projects, making us a pioneering laboratory for testing innovative approaches to building economic opportunity and decreasing poverty.
As we see it, poverty can essentially be defined as a lack of access—to basic services, to finance, to markets and capabilities. Our goal is to break down barriers in all these areas, in order to create more opportunity, to spur productive, equitable economic growth, and to provide a sustainable means of exiting poverty.
The MIF is an effective agent of change, achieving large-scale, sustainable transformation in the thinking and behavior of individuals, policy-makers, organizations and businesses. We bring flexible tools to the challenges at hand: grants, equity, lending, and expert advice.The MIF is also a fountain of knowledge, committed to sharing the lessons learned from its work.
How do we work?
We work on the ground, and in partnership. Nearly half of our staff is based in the region, in the IDB country offices. Our projects are executed through partner agencies, primarily civil society organizations and private sector firms—we have worked with more than 1,000 altogether, 70% of which had never before worked with a development bank.
These contribute both a significant portion of the project costs, and on-the-ground resources to execute operations. We have worked with hundreds of non-profits, including NGOs, industry associations, chambers of commerce and foundations. We have also invested in private financial institutions, which lend the resources to micro and small businesses; and in the rapidly-developing venture capital and impact investment industries in the region.
Once each pilot is completed, we leave it to others to take it to scale, or to adapt and replicate it for different communities and sectors. To this end, we monitor each project throughout its active stages, perform a thorough impact evaluation once it is complete, and share lessons learned.
The majority of our financing (approximately 65%) comes in the form of grants, but we also provide loans, guarantees, equity and quasi-equity, alone or in combination with grants.With this wide variety of tools and 18 years of experience in the field, we have the flexibility required to tailor unique solutions to the region’s challenges
Our projects are divided into. three areas of focus: Access to Finance, Access to Basic Services, and Access to Markets and Capabilities.
How are we funded?
Funds for MIF activities come from contributions made by the 39 member countries from Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, Europe and Asia that make up the Donors Committee. The MIF was originally equipped with $1.2 billion to carry out its mandate. Since 1993, the MIF has committed close to $1.8 billion and mobilized an additional $1.9 billion from other partners.
The Donors Committee has the final say in the approval of all projects, with voting share based on contribution level. In the original Agreement Establishing the Multilateral Investment Fund, the United States and Japan were the largest contributors at $500 million each, followed by Spain with $50 million.
Securing resources for future MIF projects, the replenishment process for MIF funds was successfully completed in 2005, with five new countries -the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Sweden, and Haiti- becoming donors with the advent of MIF II in March 2007. China is the newest member, joining in January 2009.
For more information on the MIF II Replenishment Process, please see the following documents:
Agreement and MIF II Administration and Report Donors
Replenishment: Overview, Status of resources and Action Plan
Working Paper on MIF Replenishment
Proposed Strategic Framework
What can we finance?
Projects in all sovereign developing member countries of the Inter-American Development Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank are potentially eligible for MIF funding.
We seek projects that fall in our three areas of focus: Access to Finance, Access to Basic Services, and Access to Markets and Capabilities.
In terms of investment projects, the MIF has supported the microfinance industry in Latin America and the Caribbean through loans and investments for microfinance institutions, and has also been the main investor in several venture capital funds. In addition, the MIF actively supports a number of alternative financing instruments such as factoring and leasing, and related instruments to remittances. Please visit the Financing section for more information.
Which countries are members of the MIF Donors Committee?
Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Haiti, France, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom joined the ranks of MIF donors with the initiation of MIF II in March 2007. China is the newest member, joining in January 2009.
How many projects has the MIF funded?
The MIF has funded over 1,700 projects with various partners through the region.
How much has the MIF financed towards its projects?
The MIF has financed over $1.1 billion in grants and investments towards private sector development projects.
How do I present a project idea to the MIF?
Project ideas can be presented through the MIF Online Application. Please see the Financing section for a more details.
How can I get in touch with a MIF specialist?
Please visit the Contact Us page to see our country offices throughout the region.