Portland was instrumental in establishing the first DIB in the Arab world, to address the growing Type 2 Diabetes epidemic in Palestine. We worked with 150 pre-diabetic women in West Bank refugee camps over a 3 year period with Juzoor, a local public health organisation with a strong track-record of working with women in impoverished areas. The Paltel Group agreed to an outcome payment for the first cohort totalling $150-250,000, with Portland also managing to raise $150,000 investment from the Bank of Palestine.
Impact bonds are outcomes-based contracts where investors provide upfront capital for the delivery of an intervention with clear measurable outcomes specified by a commissioner. The payout to the investor occurs if and when the outcomes are achieved, by the commissioner. If the outcomes of this Diabetes Bond are achieved, the Government will make a saving of almost $4million.
The DIB outcomes assessment is underway. The DIB, alongside events and Portland’s persistent advocacy continues to build momentum in the region to explore impact investing, and other organisations working in Palestine, including the World Bank, have built on Portland’s pioneering social finance mechanism.