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PRESS RELEASE February 8, 2021

World Bank Launches Sustainable Development Bond for RockCreek and the Equality Fund While Raising Awareness for Gender Equality

Washington, D.C., February 8, 2021 — The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD, Aaa/AAA) issued a CAD 25 million, 5-year Sustainable Development Bond. During its launch, the World Bank raised awareness for the World Bank’s strategy, projects and programs that focus on gender equality.

RBC Capital Markets is the sole lead manager for the bond. RockCreek serves as the Equality Fund’s Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) and advised on the transaction.

“Engagement with World Bank bond investors around purpose and impact of their investments is key to directing global savings to sustainable use,” said Jingdong Hua, World Bank Vice President and Treasurer.“We look forward to continued collaboration with investors as they develop investment strategies to support development sectors such as gender equality and appreciate the support of the Equality Fund and RockCreek for the World Bank’s activities.” 

In the area of gender equality, the World Bank has a holistic approach in its work to close gender gaps. World Bank’s diagnostic assessments, country strategies, and project design consider gender gaps and solutions in the following four key areas for the greatest impact: (1) reducing gaps in health, education, and social protection; (2) removing constraints for more and better jobs; (3) removing barriers to women’s ownership and control of assets; and (4) enhancing women’s voice and agency and engaging men and boys in the process. This approach is particularly important in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is causing societal and economic disruptions across the globe, including those that threaten to widen gender gaps or dismantle progress made in the past.  

“We are in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions so that we can mobilize capital to build a more just, equitable world,” said Afsaneh Beschloss, CEO of RockCreek. “With the type of work that the World Bank, Equality Fund, and RockCreek are doing we can address the challenges of inequity globally and show the impact and role that we can play in society and the economy for all.”

“This collaboration is a powerful example of our determination to use every tool at our disposal to shift power and capital to support gender equality around the world,” said Jessica Houssian, Co-CEO of the Equality Fund. “The Equality Fund is a bold step toward that future, and we are grateful to the World Bank for recognizing the central role of gender equality in building a more just and sustainable world.”

“We are excited to invest in this new bond issued by the World Bank, which will further our strategy to align our investments with our mission to advance gender equality,” said Bonnie Foley-Wong, Head of Investment Strategy at the Equality Fund.

“We are honored to support the development of innovative financing tools that help support sustainable development and focus on improving gender inequality,” said Alifia Doriwala, Co-CIO at RockCreek. “These types of solutions allow institutions to meaningfully invest in impact, generate returns, and scale their mission and will be a model for future investments.”

For more information on the World Bank Group and Gender Equality:

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 is the original member of the World Bank Group and operates as a global development cooperative owned by 189 nations. The World Bank provides loans, guarantees, risk management products, and advisory services to middle-income and other creditworthy countries to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. It also provides leadership to coordinate regional and global responses to development challenges. The World Bank has been issuing sustainable development bonds in the international capital markets for over 70 years to fund programs and activities that achieve a positive impact.

World Bank bonds support the financing of programs that further the SDGs and 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, Social Bond and Sustainability-Linked 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. The World Bank’s Sustainable Development Bond Impact Report describes how the World Bank engages with investors on the SDGs and raises awareness for specific development challenges. More information on World Bank bonds is available at

About the Equality Fund

The Equality Fund is a new model for sustainable investment in global feminist movements. Leveraging an unprecedented contribution of CAD 300 million from the Government of Canada, it unites gender-lens investing, bold government funding, and powerful, multi-sector philanthropy to unlock new capital for women’s rights organizations and movements. With collaboration from leaders in every sector, the Equality Fund expects to activate over CAD 1 billion for gender equality, making it the largest self-sustaining fund for gender equality in the world.

About RockCreek

RockCreek is a USD 15 billion leading global investment firm that applies cutting-edge technology and innovation to global sustainable and impact investing to generate long term value. Its leadership’s extensive experience at the World Bank and other mission-oriented institutions has been instrumental in the culture of inclusion and sustainability at RockCreek. The firm has a history of investing in impact for the institutions it partners with through integrating sustainable investments with a long-term track record of performance. RockCreek's client base includes endowments, foundations, pension plans, and sovereign funds. Its diverse team demonstrates that institutions can generate long term return and impact and align with their mission.


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.


Heike Reichelt
Head of Investor Relations and Sustainable Finance, World Bank Treasury
202 477 2880

Tatiana Buba
Head of Strategic Communications, Equality Fund
778 995 1648