A turning point

On 8 July 2020, it is exactly fifty years ago that the Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden, now known as FMO, was established. Right from the beginning, its objective was to stimulate the economic and social advancement in developing countries. To this day, our mission is to build a better world by empowering entrepreneurs is what keeps us inspired.

2020 marks more than just our 50th anniversary; it also marks the start of a “decisive decade”: the world has only 10 years left to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and even less time to achieve the Paris 1.5-degree target. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals within this decade, all efforts need to accelerate. On top of that, the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting societies and economies at their core. It will most likely increase poverty and inequalities at a global scale, making achievement of SDGs even more urgent.

At the moment, each of us is being forced to rethink how we live and work. Linda Broekhuizen (Chief Investment Officer at FMO) tells in this magazine how we coped with COVID-19 as an organization in the early days of the crisis and how we responded to clients’ immediate needs. Our dear client Kshama Fernadez from India takes a longer term view and shares her hopes that people will become more considerate and sensitive to the world around them in their decision making.

In conceiving of this magazine, we realized that 2020 needs to be a turning point for decisive action on all fronts. Therefore, Kitty van der Heijden, the Ducth Directorate-General for International Cooperation, calls on governments to seize the opportunity to invest trillions of dollars in rebuilding our economies in a sustainable way. She stresses that we have a unique opportunity to accelerate the transition in a way we simply couldn’t have done pre-Corona.

None of this is easy, but the time to change for the better is now. Fortunately, many people are driving action for the Goals. Their boldness and forthrightness are spurring initiatives that provide opportunities for women, youth and small and medium enterprises where this is needed most. They implement technologies, build effective partnerships, and restore nature to address the climate crisis. In our anniversary magazine ‘Future-minded’, we share their stories. As FMO, we can only be proud that these people are our clients and our partners.

Stay safe and enjoy the read!

Fatoumata Bouaré

Chief Risk & Finance Officer at FMO