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A joint statement from CDC Group, BIO, DEG and FMO on the long-term role of Development Finance Institutions in poverty-stricken regions of the world

As Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), our principle purpose is to deploy long-term investment in some of the poorest and most challenged regions to bring about positive social, environmental and economic change. In many instances we are challenged to do “the hardest things in the hardest places". Today’s Human Rights Watch report concerning our shared investment in PHC/Feronia, a palm oil producer for the domestic DRC market, highlights the need for further investment to improve environmental and working conditions at the company. Realising improvements to working conditions and community infrastructure is central to DFIs’ engagement with Feronia...

Today, worker wages at Feronia have more than doubled, and protective clothing is mandatory. Housing is constantly being renewed and restored, 72 wells have been drilled or renovated to provide clean water, and restored medical facilities are helping thousands of workers and non-workers every year...Throughout our engagement with HRW, we have been transparent about the company’s challenges. Complete access has been provided to the company’s operations - as can be seen by the detail in their report - and we had provided detailed answers and context to their questions... 

To be clear, the issues raised by HRW in its report are important and the company, owners and lenders are committed to tackling them. Actions we are taking are detailed below... 

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