Close the Gap

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two women look at a notebook in front of power lines

In June of 2021, President Biden and other G7 leaders announced the G7 Partnership for Infrastructure and Investment (PII).  

As part of the U.S. contribution to this initiative, USAID is launching three flagship projects in health security, digital connectivity, and gender equity to help close the $40 trillion infrastructure gap in low- and middle-income countries.

USAID’s new projects will help strengthen global infrastructure through substantial investments in quality child care and early learning to empower women to participate in the global economy, the expansion of internet access and digital financial services for traditionally underserved consumers in developing markets and improving health outcomes by electrifying and digitally connecting health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa that will bridge the digital divide.

“Digital Invest: Mobilizing Private Capital for Internet Connectivity and Digital Finance” launch event
On April 27, the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will co-host an event to launch Digital Invest, a new USAID blended finance program that seeks to mobilize private capital for digital finance and internet service providers serving traditionally excluded consumers in developing markets.

Featured speakers will include U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power, United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) Director Enoh T. Ebong, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose W. Fernandez (invited), and five investment fund manager partners under the Digital Invest program. The event will be moderated by Linda Etim, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Development, Global Health, and Humanitarian Response with the National Security Council (NSC). This event is a part of President Biden’s global infrastructure partnership announced at the G7 last year. 

“Power Africa: Healthcare Electrification & Telecommunication Alliance” launch event 
Power Africa and USAID will host an event debuting the Healthcare Electrification and Telecommunication Alliance (HETA), an unprecedented effort to power up and digitally connect 10,000 health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa, transforming them into hubs of clean energy development. The event will feature remarks by USAID Administrator Samantha Power and Power Africa Coordinator Mark Carrato, along with a high-level roundtable discussion on the Alliance.  

An estimated 100,000 public health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to reliable power and internet connectivity. Power Africa projects through its offgrid program have already provided clean and reliable electricity to 227 health facilities serving over 2 million people in the region. The new initiative expands on Power Africa’s recent achievements in electrifying healthcare facilities, a new public-private alliance in Sierra Leone, and the UN Multilateral Health Electrification Compact launched at the 2021 UN high level dialogue on energy.

“Investments in Global Child Care Infrastructure” launch event 
On April 28, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in coordination with the White House Gender Policy Council and National Security Council and other philanthropic actors, will announce a substantial commitment to the World Bank’s Global Childcare Incentive Fund.

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, USAID Administrator Samantha Power, and Melinda French Gates will join government leaders, industry experts, and child care workers to discuss challenges as well as successful models and policies.

Last updated: April 25, 2022

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