FaithInvest and Christian Aid are co-hosting a conference in London on May 15, which focuses on the hugely important issue of how to fund development in an era of growing humanitarian needs and tighter aid budgets.
Faith-based NGOs and business networks which together manage nearly £600 billion worth of funds are coming together to discuss this critical subject – and it's a measure of the level of interest that attendees are predominantly CEOs or senior leadership team figures.
The international development sector spends well above US$200 billion each year, and faith-based agencies are some of the biggest NGOs working to deliver transformational change for the world’s poorest peoples.
But growing humanitarian needs, climate change, environmental crises, wars and conflicts mean the aid sector is under pressure as never before – just as tighter foreign aid budgets and greater fiscal austerity mean less funding is available.
The invitation-only conference, called Investing in a Liveable Future: Investment, Faith and Development, is co-hosted by FaithInvest and Christian Aid, the relief and development agency of 41 Christian churches in the UK and Ireland.
In the room will be faith-based NGOs and business networks which together manage nearly £600 billion worth of funds
Patrick Watt, CEO, Christian Aid
Martin Palmer, CEO, FaithInvest
Daniel Sattar, CEO, Big Issue Invest
Theodora Hadjimichael, CEO, Responsible Finance
Stewart McCulloch, CEO, Stewardship
Ian Thorpe, CEO, The Africa Trust
Waseem Ahmad, CEO, Islamic Relief Worldwide
Chine McDonald, Director, Theos Think Tank
Assheton Stewart Carter, CEO, TDi Sustainability
Stewart Wallis, Chair, Wellbeing Economy Alliance
John Weakliam, CEO, Vita Impact
Rev Timo Plutchinsky, Director, World Evangelical Alliance Business Coalition
Date: Monday May 15
Venue: Methodist Central Hall, London
The conference – held during Christian Aid Week and titled Investing in a Liveable Future: Investment, Faith and Development – will explore opportunities for business and development agencies to work more closely together, using investments as an effective tool, alongside philanthropy, to fund a just and sustainable future for people and planet.
As well as key faith-based NGOs such as Save the Children, Islamic Relief, Christian Aid, Tearfund, CAFOD, Friends Provident Foundation and Vita, which together spend around £673 million on aid and development annually, the conference will also be attended by progressive business networks managing around £500 billion, which are looking to assist the faiths in transformational action.
FaithInvest CEO Martin Palmer said: 'An astonishing amount of funding for global development is provided by faith-based development agencies. Their contribution to poverty alleviation, sustainability and environmental action is a hidden fabric that holds together communities around the world.
'This event is designed to explore a growing area of interest, that would complement traditional funding such as grants and charitable giving, by looking at the potential for some of the billions of dollars that NGOs spend in grants to be invested in initiatives that can benefit people and planet and support the Sustainable Development Goals.'
Patrick Watt, CEO of Christian Aid, said, 'Christian Aid’s vision of a world free from poverty has animated our work for over 75 years. This vision is only achievable where markets deliver for people in poverty, and for society at large, by generating decent work and sustainable livelihoods.
'Christian Aid believes that poverty eradication requires innovative partnerships between civil society organisations and the private sector. Private capital and socially conscious business have a critical role to play in building a just and sustainable future for people and planet. That’s why we launched the Salt Network. We are delighted to be co-hosting this event with FaithInvest'.
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