MIGA manages a trust fund to provide technical advice to overseas investors in Africa. The fund, launched with support from the Japanese government, is open on a case-by-case basis to investors already receiving MIGA guarantees or being considered for support for existing or possible projects in MIGA member countries in Africa.
Through the trust fund, investors can receive expert advice from MIGA and from consultants specifically hired by the fund. The goal is to ensure that investors comply with MIGA's environmental and social policies; are able to assess a project's environmental or social impacts; and receive best-practice advice on issues such as resettlement, local community benefits, and environmental health and safety for example.
The fund is currently supporting the work of the africaJUICE Outgrower Incubator Project by providing a consultant to develop a group of Fair Trade registered outgrowers, organized in a self-sustaining cooperative structure that can supply yellow passion fruit and other tropical fruits to the africaJUICE processing factory under fair-trade terms. This is a long-term initiative that will take place over a 12-month period.
In Liberia, the trust fund supported a review of Liberia's charcoal sector. Initial findings were published in the report "Overview of Harvesting Non-Productive Rubber Trees and Charcoal Production in Liberia". This work was followed by a February 2012 workshop that included a discussion of the challenges and opportunities facing Liberia's charcoal sector.
Projects undertaken by the fund are triggered by requests from clients or prospective clients, or from MIGA's staff.' Following a request and the client's agreement to consider involvement by the fund MIGA evaluates what type of support it can provide. This evaluation usually involves a visit to the project site and trust fund support typically involves providing expert consultants to work with the client on the specific tasks identified during the site visit.
When a project gets the go-ahead for trust fund support, a letter of agreement is drawn up between MIGA and the client, defining the work to be done, as well as the roles and responsibilities of the client company, MIGA, and the consultant. Clients also make a contribution to the work, for example by providing on-site assistance to MIGA and the consultant and a financial contribution to project costs. The client's contribution is defined through agreement with MIGA on a case-by-case basis.
For further information about the fund, or to discuss possible projects for trust fund support, please contact:
Environmental and Social Challenges Trust Fund, MIGA
1818 H Street, NW
Mail Stop U12-1203
Washington, DC 20433