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PRESS RELEASE October 21, 2020

Nippon Life Invests in World Bank Sustainable Development Bonds and Highlights Support for Nutrition

TOKYO, October 21, 2020 – The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD, Aaa/AAA) issued a 15-year AU$150 million Sustainable Development Bond, while for the first time, highlighting the importance of good nutrition to build human capital. Nippon Life Insurance Company was the sole investor in this transaction.

World Bank bonds support the financing of sustainable development projects and programs in member countries across a range of sectors in line with its mission to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity.
This includes US$4.9 billion in projects, of which US$1 billion are in IBRD countries, helping to improve nutrition. Good nutrition is key to unlocking human capital and improving economic growth as better nourished children achieve greater learning outcomes, better earnings in adulthood and are therefore more likely to escape from poverty when they grow up.

“We are delighted to have an opportunity to support the Word Bank’s sustainable development activities, including those which address the critical and worldwide challenge of malnutrition, through our investment in World Bank bonds,” said Toshihiro Nakashima, Managing Executive Officer, Chief Investment Officer, Member of the Board of Directors, Nippon Life. “Nippon Life aims to contribute to the realization of a safe, secure, and sustainable society with our company activities throughout the entire value chain. Nippon Life actively engages in ESG investments and loans to contribute to solving environmental and social issues. Nippon Life’s investment in the bond is one way of contributing to achievement of the SDGs. Nippon Life is proactively involved in the health care sector, aiming to create “Insurance +α” value (meaning “insurance plus additional services”) that goes beyond the conventional insurance business and investment in the bond matches Nippon Life’s initiatives. Nippon Life will continue advancing ESG investments and loans to better serve the interests of policyholders and contribute to the formation of a sustainable society.”

“Inaction around malnutrition is extremely costly,” said Mamta Murthi, World Bank Vice President for Human Development. “The impact of undernutrition on human capital and the global economy will be felt for decades unless we act now”

“We are pleased to see strong investor interest in highlighting the importance of good nutrition,” said Jingdong Hua, World Bank Vice President and Treasurer. “World Bank bonds provide a way for investors to connect with investments that deliver positive impact to help improve prospects for future generations.”    

Malnutrition is a universal problem affecting all geographies, ages, genders as well as rich or poor, and more than two-thirds of countries worldwide experience multiple forms of malnutrition, including chronic malnutrition (stunting), acute malnutrition (wasting), overweight/obesity and various micronutrient deficiencies. This places increasingly serious burdens on national health systems and economies in low- and middle-income countries.

The World Bank is working with partners to find solutions that can be scaled up to reach the most nutritionally vulnerable people. In India, for example, the World Bank is supporting the financing of the POSHAN Abhiyaan (National Nutrition Mission), a national flagship program to improve the coverage and quality of nutrition services for women and young children with US$200 million IBRD loan (Project information). Since March 2020, the investment has been geared towards addressing the challenge of continued delivery of essential health and nutrition services, such as breastfeeding counseling, distribution of nutritious supplementary foods, and pregnancy nutrition care and preventive measures against the COVID-19, to protect the most vulnerable from the pandemic and the risks posed by the prolonged crisis.

About the World Bank 
The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD), rated Aaa/AAA (Moody’s/S&P), is an international organization created in 1944. It operates as a global development cooperative owned by 189 nations. It provides its members with financing, expertise and coordination services so they can achieve equitable and sustainable economic growth in their national economies and find effective solutions to pressing regional and global economic and environmental problems. The World Bank Group has two main goals: to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. The World Bank (IBRD) seeks to achieve them primarily by providing loans, risk management products, and expertise on development-related disciplines to its borrowing member government clients in middle-income countries and other creditworthy countries, and by coordinating responses to regional and global challenges. The World Bank has been issuing bonds in the international capital markets for over 70 years to fund its sustainable development activities and achieve a positive impact. Information on bonds for investors is available on the World Bank Treasury website.

With annual issuances between US$55-US$65 billion, World Bank bonds support the financing of programs that further the Sustainable Development Goals. World Bank bonds are aligned with the Sustainability Bond Guidelines published by the International Capital Market Association. The World Bank is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Green Bond and Social Bond Principles. A key priority for the World Bank’s capital markets’ engagement is building strategic partnerships with investors to promote the importance of private sector financing in sustainable development.

*Net proceeds of the bonds described herein are not committed or earmarked for lending to, or financing of, any particular projects or programs, and returns on the bonds described herein are not linked to the performance of any particular project or program.
*This press release is not an offer for sale of securities of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development ("IBRD"), also known in the capital markets as "World Bank". Any offering of World Bank securities will take place solely on the basis of the relevant offering documentation including, but not limited to, the prospectus, term sheet and/or final terms, as applicable, prepared by the World Bank or on behalf of the World Bank, and is subject to restrictions under the laws of several countries. World Bank securities may not be offered or sold except in compliance with all such laws.


World Bank Treasury
Heike Reichelt
Head of Investor Relations and Sustainable Finance