Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, has announced plans for the launch of new development impact bonds in Bangladesh as part of his British Asian Trust charity.
Addressing an annual charity gala dinner for the charity in London on Tuesday night, the royal announced that the success of such bonds in other regions of South Asia has resulted in its extension to Bangladesh.
“I am so very pleased to announce that the British Asian Trust will soon be launching the first ever Development Impact Bond in Bangladesh,” he told an audience of celebrities and business chiefs.
Shayan F. Rahman, the Chair of the British Asian Trust’s Bangladesh Advisory Council, is taking the lead on the initiative and has agreed to provide the seed-funding for the new bonds.
“This will be a major programme focussed on skills development, which will bring together private capital with philanthropy to improve the livelihoods of 50,000 young people (aged 14-18) in Bangladesh. Remarkably, it will be the largest Development Impact Bond in the world for unemployed youth,” said Prince Charles.
The royal said that the Development Impact Bonds offer an innovative and effective means of reaching the targets set out in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“As the world looks increasingly to innovate around sustainable solutions for both people and planet, the British Asian Trust has really established itself as a leading social finance organisation for South Asia,” he said.
Through the Trust’s work in anti-trafficking, improving livelihoods, education and mental health, it claims to have touched the lives of 4.8 million people in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, with an expansion of its remit into Bangladesh more recently.
The British Asian Trust was founded in 2007 by Prince Charles and a group of British Asian business leaders with a vision to transform lives across South Asia.