Innovative Financing for Peace:
Finding new solutions to meet local peacebuilding needs

To be held virtually on 18 May 2021 - Time: 09.00 - 11.30 (EDT, New York) // 15.00 - 17.30 (CEST, Berlin)

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Introduction and welcome remarks
Mr. Marc-André Franche, Chief of Financing for Peacebuilding Branch, United Nation’s Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO)

The need and opportunity for catalyzing innovative financing into peacebuilding priority countries

Mr. Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support

The importance of innovative finance mechanisms for peacebuilding: Germany’s perspective
Ms. Sibylle Katharina Sorg, Director General for Crisis Prevention, Stabilization, Peacebuilding, and Humanitarian Assistance, German Federal Foreign Office

The importance of innovative finance mechanisms for peacebuilding: Colombia’s experience
Mr. Emilio Archila, Presidential Counsellor for Stabilisation and Consolidation for Colombia

Financing for peacebuilding: Connecting this dialogue to the High-Level- Meeting during UNGA 76
H.E. Mr. Mohamed Edrees, Peacebuilding Commission Chair, Government of Egypt

Ms. Joan Larrea, CEO, Convergence

Panel discussion: Challenges of blended finance in peacebuilding contexts & opportunities for new approaches based on practical experience

Guiding Questions: How can innovative financing instruments catalyze public and private resources to contribute directly to peacebuilding? How can “peace-positive investments” be mobilized to better deliver peace dividends (i.e. job creation, access to services, infrastructure, etc.)? What are the lessons learned from current experiences? How can successful models be scaled up?

Mr. Bernt Brun, Vice President, Norfund
Ms. Fanta Conde, Deputy Head, West Africa Advisory, CrossBoundary
Ms. Zodwa Mbele, Executive Manager, Development Bank of Southern Africa
Mr. Pontus Ohrstedt, Chief of the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, Colombia
Mr. Jean-Philippe De Schrevel, Founder & Managing Partner, Bamboo Capital
Ms. Kruskaia Sierra-Escalante, Acting Director / Senior Manager, Blended Finance, International Finance Corporation

The case for a blended finance vehicle for peacebuilding

Mr. Pierre Van Hoeylandt, Founder & CEO at Natural Heritage Capital
Mr. Marc-André Franche, Chief of Financing for Peacebuilding Branch, UN PBSO

Speaker bios

High-level panel

Emilio José Archila Peñalosa has been Presidential Counsellor for Stabilization and Consolidation since August 2018. Previously, he held positions as director of Economic Law at Universidad Externado in Colombia, president of the Stockbrokers Association and, in 1998, Superintendent of Industry and Commerce, and served as director of the Legal Office of the Economic Development Ministry (today: Industry, Tourism and Commerce Ministry). Archila Peñalosa was a teacher of renounced Colleges in Colombia, such as Colegio Mayor de Nuestra Señora del Rosario, Universidad Externado de Colombia, la Pontificia Universidad Javeriana de Bogotá, Universidad San Buenaventura de Cali and Universidad del Norte de Barranquilla, among others. Born in Bogotá in 1964, he is a Lawyer from Universidad Externado de Colombia with specializations on Financial Law from Universidad de los Andes and on International Development Law from the Rome Institute in Italy. In addition, he holds a master’s degree on Comparative and Foreign Law from the New York University in the United States.

H.E. Mohamed Edrees is the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission and Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations. Prior to his current position, he was Egypt’s Assistant Foreign Minister for African Affairs from 2015 to 2018. He served as Ambassador of Egypt to Ethiopia, as well as his country’s Permanent Representative to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. He was Deputy Assistant Minister for Arab-Orient Affairs and Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. He previously served as Minister Plenipotentiary to the United Nations in New York and as Deputy Chief of Mission at Egypt’s Embassy in Damascus in Syria. He holds a Master of Arts in political science from the University of London and a Bachelor of Science in medicine and surgery from Cairo University.

Oscar Fernández-Taranco has been Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support since November 2014. In this capacity, he heads the Peacebuilding Support Office,
charged with enhancing system-wide coherence in support of peacebuilding and sustaining peace and partnerships with United Nations and non-UN stakeholders, oversees support to the Peacebuilding Commission and manages the Peacebuilding Fund on behalf of the Secretary-General. He is a graduate of Cornell University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ambassador Sibylle Katharina Sorg is Director General for Crisis Prevention, Stabilisation, Peace Building and Humanitarian Assistance at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. Previously, she served as Director for Relations with European Union Member States, Cross-Border and Regional Cooperation. She was Deputy Chief of Staff and Deputy Head of Cabinet for the Federal Foreign Minister (2014-2017), Head of the Political Department at the German Embassy in London and Deputy Head of Middle East Division at the Federal Foreign Office. She also served at the German Embassies in Tel Aviv and Dublin, the German Consulate General in Sydney, and as Spokesperson of the Ministry on EU, Western Europe and Africa. She holds an M.A. degree in History, Political Sciences and Journalism from Justus-Liebig-University Giessen.

Expert session

Bernt Brun is a finance and investment management specialist with a varied experience, having held senior positions within institutional asset management, wealth management and sell side research. As Vice President he currently manages the “Funds” team at Norfund, a Norwegian development finance institution investing in developing countries globally with an emphasis on Africa. Prior to this position he worked as Chief Investment Officer at Fronteer Solutions responsible for developing quantitative investment strategies to be implemented on a global equity universe. As Head of Research at the Danske Bank Markets, he developed investment strategies for Norwegian bonds and money market instruments as well as hedging strategies for corporations.
Fanta CondeFanta Conde is the Deputy Head of the West Africa Advisory Team at CrossBoundary, where she advises local and regional companies on equity and debt capital raises. She worked on several transactions as part of the Malian Investment Facilitation Platform. She now focuses on facilitating investments in several agriculture value chains in Guinea and Ghana and on setting up CrossBoundary’s office in the DRC. Fanta has an MBA from The Wharton School.

Pierre has over 25 years’ experience in development finance, investment banking and consulting, including with CDC Group plc, McKinsey & Company and Goldman Sachs. As former Head of Frontier Investments and later Director for special projects at CDC (2013-2020) he has been responsible for CDC’s investments in fragile states and for exploring innovative blended finance instruments in a variety of sectors. He was the founder and CEO of the first private equity fund in Afghanistan in 2006 and CEO of a logistics business in Nigeria. Early in his career he worked as a journalist during the civil wars in Bosnia, Somalia and Rwanda in the 1990s and, in 1995, spent time in the UN Department of Peacekeeping operations under Kofi Annan. He has experience working in fragile states including in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Nepal, Northern Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, and Zimbabwe. Pierre holds a D.Phil in International Relations from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He is fluent in German, French, and English.

Zodwa holds a position of the Group Executive: Transacting at the DBSA. The role entails the responsibility for infrastructure financing of projects with high development impact across the Bank’s coverage within African countries. In the past 19 years of infrastructure development and financing experience, she has played a pivotal role in ensuring successful financial close of catalytic projects to the value of R65 billion spanning across various sectors. She acquired this experience from Development Finance Institutions and Infrastructure Development entities. She serves on other roles in a Non-Executive Director capacity, including the Credit Committee of Stanlib Infrastructure Fund; a fund with an impressive investment portfolio of the renewable projects in South Africa. She is a member of the Board of Vodacom Insurance and Life Companies. She was previously the CFO and Project Finance Executive in other organizations in the private and public sector. She is a Chartered Accountant (SA) by training, attended Advanced Management Program (Harvard Business School), Executive Development Program (Stellenbosch Business School) and Management Advanced Program (Wits Business School). She also obtained a Certificate in International Treasury Management (UK).

Pontus Ohrstedt is a United Nations professional who has dedicated the last 20 years to conflict prevention, peacebuilding and post-conflict recovery, through sustainable development action. He is currently the Head of the UN Resident Coordinators Office Colombia and manages the United Nations Post-Conflict Multi-Partner Trust fund for Colombia, piloting new blended financing models to leverage investment for peace. He has previously worked as the Head of the UNDP Crisis Prevention and Recovery Unit in Sudan, as regional program specialist for crisis prevention and recovery in the Arab States region and held field positions with UNDP and UNHCR in Colombia. He has master’s in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and an under-graduate degree in Law and Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. 

Jean-Philippe has dedicated most of his career to the development of the “impact investing” field of which he is considered to be a global pioneer, having launched 8 investment funds and raised over a billion USD to date across a variety of asset classes – e.g. fixed income, private equity, venture capital, structured finance and many various sectors such as microfinance, healthcare, education, agribusiness or affordable housing. Jean-Philippe’s journey stems from early personal exposure to extreme poverty while traveling, working, and living in Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. His work objectives are driven by deeply rooted faith and values and ambition to contribute to solving at scale some of the most critical problems of our planet. Realizing “investments that matter” is the path he has chosen to follow some 20 years ago. Jean-Philippe notably co-founded in 2001 BlueOrchard Finance, a pioneer commercial lender to Microfinance banks

Kruskaia Sierra-Escalante is the Acting Director / Senior Manager of IFC’s Blended Finance Department, managing a pool of contributor funds of over $5 billion focused on accelerating IFC’s engagement in low-income and fragile and conflict-affected countries, climate, infrastructure, gender, small and medium enterprise development, and agriculture. Since 2013, Kruskaia has managed IFC’s blended finance facilities for climate with more than $1 billion in bilateral and multilateral donor contributions for climate-smart co-investments in IFC projects. During this period, IFC’s blended climate finance portfolio doubled in volume and helped IFC enter riskier markets. She also manages the International Development Association’s Private Sector Window, created in 2017 to support private sector development, growth, and job creation in some of the world’s least developed countries. Prior to her current position, she headed the Blended Finance unit, a governance unit performing credit review, quality assurance and knowledge-sharing functions and served as IFC’s Global Lead Counsel for Climate and Blended Finance at IFC. Before joining IFC in 2003, Kruskaia was at Chadbourne & Parke, LLP, working primarily in project finance in the power sector. Kruskaia holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs, with a concentration in Economics and Public Policy, from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, and a J.D. from the New York University School of Law.


Photo: David Ausserhofer

MR. Marc-André Franche

Financing for Peacebuilding Branch, UN PBSO

Marc-André has spent his professional career working in international development. He has over 15 years of experience with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Haiti, the Regional Bureau for Latin America, Colombia and Bolivia. Before joining the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), where he is tasked with overseeing the day-to-day management of the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund (PBF), he was the Country Director of Pakistan and Deputy Director of UNDP in Haiti. He holds an MSc in Development Policies from the London School of Economics, an MSc in European Studies from Lund University and a BSc in Political Science from Université de Montréal. Franche holds Canadian and Colombian citizenship.

Photo: David Ausserhofer

Ms. Joan Larrea

Chief Executive Officer at Convergence

Joan Larrea, CEO of Convergence, is an expert in catalyzing investment in places that need it most. She has over 25 years of experience in emerging markets investing. Since 2016, Joan’s leadership has driven Convergence to become a global independent authority for blended finance. She ensures Convergence continues to elevate the field of blended finance through its services and accelerate the flow of private capital into SDG projects across Africa, Asia and Latin America. She also serves on the FinDev Canada Advisory Council, the Advisory Group of Financial Experts for the Global Environment Facility’s Non-Grant Instruments Program and HRH The Prince of Wales Sustainable Markets Council. She holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.