Open Society Foundations’ Soros Economic Development Fund Commits $25 Million to Allied Climate Partners’ Climate Finance Partnership

New York, Feb. 27, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF), the impact investment arm of the Open Society Foundations, is committing $25 million to Allied Climate Partners (ACP)—a new and innovative public-private partnership focused on increasing the number of bankable climate projects in emerging markets and developing economies around the world.

ACP aims to address a critical financing gap at the early, risk-oriented stages of the development process. Without this support, many projects and businesses struggle to attract the necessary capital to achieve their climate-related goals. While early-stage project development represents the smallest portion of the overall funding needed for a project (approximately 5 percent), relatively few early-stage projects get financed due to risk. Even though 5 percent of the capital can unlock 95 percent, this early-stage capital is the hardest to raise for critical activities like technical and environmental assessments, modeling, permitting, and land acquisition.

Using funds from SEDF and other philanthropic investors, ACP will anchor a number of regional funds in Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and India with $235 million first-loss junior equity. These regional funds will in turn seek to raise an additional $600+ million in senior equity from multilateral development banks (MDBs), development finance institutions (DFIs), and private investors.

ACP has strategic partnerships with a number of leading MDBs and DFIs, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), British International Investment (BII), the U.K.’s DFI and impact investor, the African Development Bank (AfDB), Proparco, a subsidiary of Agence Française de Développement Group, FMO, the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank, and IDB Invest, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group.

Philanthropic investments in ACP are expected to mobilize a significant level of third-party capital into regional investment managers and climate-related projects—potentially as much as $11 billion in additional investment.

SEDF has partnered with the Three Cairns Group, Bezos Earth Fund, Sea Change Foundation International, and several other philanthropic and investment partners in making this commitment.

Georgia Levenson Keohane, CEO of the Soros Economic Development Fund, said: “This innovative SEDF investment builds on Open Society’s broader work to support the mobilization of development finance and commercial capital critical for financing a just climate transition in the Global South.”

ACP recently announced the anchoring of its first regional fund—the Southeast Asia Clean Energy Fund II. Managed by Clime Capital, the fund is targeting at least $135 million to invest in projects in Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines—countries that account for about 75 percent of the region’s population and 60 percent of current regional greenhouse gas emissions.

Mark Malloch-Brown, president of the Open Society Foundations, said, “The scale of investment needed to drive climate transition and adaptation in Global South economies clearly goes far beyond the capacities of private philanthropic funding. We are excited about this model which seeks to use catalytic funding to remove barriers, and help kick start the broader systemic shifts the world urgently needs.”

“We urgently need innovative blended finance solutions that can operate at scale,” said Ahmed Saeed, CEO of Allied Climate Partners. “ACP welcomes SEDF’s commitment to join this exciting endeavor to leverage the power of philanthropic funding.”

Estimates of how much additional capital countries will need to invest annually to address the costs of climate transition and adaptation vary—one recent study puts the need for external capital at $1.1 trillion per annum. However, investment in transition and adaptation projects globally has been overwhelmingly focused on the industrialized economies, where project risks are lower.

About the Soros Economic Development Fund

The Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF) is the impact investment arm of the Open Society Foundations (OSF). SEDF deploys patient, risk-tolerant and catalytic capital to advance OSF’s commitment to sustaining vibrant and inclusive democracies across the globe. Founded in 1997, SEDF has committed over $520M in debt, equity and guarantee investments into businesses, funds, platforms and nonprofits across geographies and sectors that advance the mission of the Foundations. SEDF’s current investment portfolio includes $395M in committed capital across 38 investments.

About Allied Climate Partners

Allied Climate Partners (ACP) is a philanthropic investment organization with a mission to accelerate the climate transition and improve livelihoods in emerging economies by increasing the flow of capital to bankable, climate-related projects and businesses. ACP selects regional investment managers in emerging economies and supports them with first-loss capital, expertise, and the mandate to address a critical financing gap at the early, risk-oriented stages of the development process for climate-related projects and asset-oriented businesses. Without this support, many projects and businesses struggle to attract the necessary capital to achieve their climate-related goals. By proving this model, ACP aims to induce commercially-oriented public and private sector investors to invest where they likely would not otherwise.

Open Society Foundations
(212) 548-0378

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The World’s Most Attractive Investment Migration Programs in 2024

LONDON, Feb. 27, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — European residence and citizenship by investment programs continue to dominate the top spots of global wealth advisory firm Henley & Partners’ annual rankings of the most sought-after investment migration programs in the world. Malta holds onto 1st place in the 2024 Global Citizenship Program Index as it has done for nine consecutive years, while the Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program retains top spot on the Global Residence Program Index.

The two indexes — featured in the 2024 edition of the Investment Migration Programs report — offer a systematic analysis and comprehensive benchmarking of the world’s most attractive residence and citizenship by investment programs, providing the gold standard in the sector. This year’s edition includes a total of 39 programs, representing the most relevant of over 100 programs worldwide. These have been appraised by a panel of independent experts, including leading academic researchers, country risk specialists, economists, independent expert immigration and citizenship lawyers, and other specialists, who consider a broad range of pertinent factors. Interactive digital comparisons of the programs are also available, enabling global investors and wealthy families to select what matters most to them when weighing up their options.

Dr. Christian H. Kaelin, international immigration and citizenship law expert and Chairman of Henley & Partners, says, “The publication is important for private clients and wealth management professionals as well as for government policy makers looking to manage investment migration programs to achieve greater fiscal autonomy and economic growth. In this era of heightened global volatility, nation states are using investment migration as an innovative financing tool to fund national or regional social and infrastructure projects as well as development initiatives that mitigate sustainability risks, to the benefit of their citizens and residents.”

Citizenship programs: Malta reigns supreme

The Global Citizenship Program Index ranks 13 programs, with the strategically-located European nation of Malta scoring 77 out of 100 and taking top honors once again. Malta’s Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment Regulations allow for the granting of citizenship by a certificate of naturalization to foreign individuals and their families who contribute to the country’s economic development. This is possible following a 36-month residence period (or 12 months by exception). Malta’s original citizenship program was designed by Henley & Partners in 2013–2014 and went on to become one of the most successful such programs in the world.

Retaining 2nd place with a score of 74 is Austria’s premium citizenship by investment offering, which requires applicants to make a substantial contribution to the Austrian economy. Three Caribbean island nations tie in 3rd position, each scoring 70: the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program, the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Program, and the St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program all offer attractive real estate-linked investment routes and fund options.

Residence programs: Portugal in prime position

Europe also prevails in the 2024 Global Residence Program Index, with programs on the continent occupying the Top 5 positions. The Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program ranks 1st overall out of 26 programs, with a score of 75 out of 100. Each scoring 73, the Austria Private Residence Program shares 2nd place with the Mediterranean’s rising star — the Greece Golden Visa Program, followed closely by the Swiss Residence Program on 72 — an investment option developed by Henley & Partners, which combines private residence with the Swiss forfait tax provisions.

Italy’s Residence by Investment Program is joint 4th with the UK’s Innovator Founder Visa, each scoring 71. The only Top 5 program not in Europe is the Canada Start-Up Visa Program, which scores 69 and shares the 5th spot with another European favorite that is attracting a great deal of attention, the Spain Residence by Investment Program.

Domicile diversification a top priority

Dr. Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners, says, “Acquiring alternative residence and/or citizenship programs enables greater flexibility and participation in the world’s leading economies, as well as optionality, which is now an indispensable part of any family’s insurance policy for the 21st century. The more jurisdictions a family can access, the more diversified its assets, the lower its exposure to country-specific, regional, and global volatility, and the more sustainable it will be over the long term.”

Last year, US-Americans were the top nationality applying for alternative residence and citizenship options through Henley & Partners, and this trend has continued into the first quarter of 2024. This year is also projected to be a record-breaker in terms of millionaire migration, according to the Henley Private Wealth Migration Report, with 128,000 high-net-worth individuals forecast to move to a new country, compared to the 120,000 who did so last year, surpassing the pre-pandemic high of 110,000.

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ASICS Study Confirms Positive Link Between Exercise and Women’s Mental Health, Yet Worryingly Over Half of Women Around the World Are Dropping Out or Stopping Exercise Completely


LONDON, Feb. 27, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Largest global study ever conducted on the gender exercise gap reveals:

  • The more women move, the better they feel. Women who exercise regularly are 52% happier, 50% more energised, 48% more confident, 67% less stressed and 80% less frustrated.
  • But, over half of women are not exercising as much as they would like and missing out on the physical and mental benefits of exercise.
  • All women are facing a myriad of universal challenges and barriers to exercise, throughout their lifetime.
  • Yet, men’s perceptions of these barriers are different to the reality.
  • Encouragingly, around the world people are actively breaking barriers for women in sport; ASICS shines a light on their stories and pledges to help Move Her Mind.
Move Her Mind
Move Her Mind

Move Her Mind Key Visual

This International Women’s Day, ASICS unveils the results of the largest study ever conducted on the gender exercise gap, reaffirming the positive correlation between women’s exercise levels and their mental health, with women 52% happier, 50% more energised, 48% more confident, 67% less stressed and 80% less frustrated when exercising.

Yet, the independent research, conducted on over 25,000 people and led by renowned academics Dr Dee Dlugonski and Professor Brendon Stubbs, alarmingly found that over half of women globally are dropping out or stopping exercise completely, which is negatively impacting their state of mind. In response, ASICS is recognising and amplifying the positive impact of individuals and grassroots organisations who are breaking barriers for women in sport, to support, empower and inspire more women to move.

Worryingly, the global study revealed that over half of women are unhappy with their exercise levels. All women are experiencing barriers to exercise throughout their lifetime, from time pressures (74%) and low self-confidence (35%) to intimidating environments (44%) or not feeling sporty enough (42%). What’s more, almost two-thirds (61%) of mothers cited motherhood as the primary reason they dropped out of doing regular exercise or sport altogether, showing the impact that caregiving responsibilities and societal expectations about gender roles are having on women’s activity levels.

Interestingly, men’s perceptions of the challenges women face were different to the reality. Only 34% of men recognised lack of time as a barrier to exercise for women, despite three-quarters (74%) of women citing the issue. Instead, men thought body insecurities were the leading problem, with 58% of men reporting this as the main barrier, compared to 36% of women. In fact, of the top five barriers to exercise perceived by men, only one (costs) actually featured in the list of most common obstacles reported by women, highlighting a disparity between men’s perceptions and the daily reality felt by women around the world.

Despite this, the research found that over a third of women say their friends are their most important exercise influencers, noting that they’re more motivated to exercise by women like themselves, than celebrities. When asked why they would exercise, encouragingly women universally said for their mental (92%) and physical (96%) health rather than aesthetics.

The study lead, Dr Dee Dlugonski, Assistant Professor at Sports Medicine Research Institute, University of Kentucky said: “Our study showed that the gender exercise gap is a complex challenge which did not develop overnight. Given it has no sole cause, it will not be solved with one single solution, but when asked what could help, women noted that making movement more accessible, inclusive and recognised in all forms, while challenging society’s gendered expectations, would support them in moving more.

“This includes making exercise centred around women and their needs. From providing childcare and catering for all activity levels, to fitting around work, being fun, affordable, safe, welcoming and judgement-free. All these solutions, while small, can have a significant impact and our study uncovered thousands of individuals and organisations around the world who are already driving change.”

This includes people like Karen Guttridge, who as an older woman felt like there were no exercise opportunities locally, so she decided to set up her own running group for women over fifty. Expecting five ladies to join the first session, Karen was overwhelmed when over seventy like-minded women turned up. Offering running programmes for all exercise levels and an inviting, safe and judgement-free space for the women to connect, the group has been an overwhelming success and supported many women to move and feel confident in doing so.

ASICS wants to recognise and celebrate the incredible impact of people like Karen across communities around the world. Today, ASICS is spotlighting the remarkable individuals and organisations, who are actively dismantling barriers for women in exercise and sport. As well as the stories of those who are making a difference, the ASICS Move Her Mind platform contains resources, activities and tips to support more women to move more often.

ASICS knows there are many, many more people and organisations making a difference around the world. This International Women’s Day, ASICS is inviting people to submit their stories and experiences, so more women can be connected, supported and inspired.

Tomoko Koda, Managing Executive Officer for ASICS comments: “ASICS was founded on the belief that sport and exercise benefit the body and the mind. It’s why we’re called ASICS: ‘Anima Sana in Corpore Sano’ or ‘Sound Mind in a Sound Body’. While our study found that many women are not happy with their exercise levels, it also uncovered the tremendous impact that individuals and grassroots organisations are having in helping women to move.

“By launching Move Her Mind, we hope to give these remarkable people a platform, to connect and inspire others, so everyone can achieve a sound mind in a sound body. It’s time more women and girls experience the positive physical and mental benefits of exercise. It’s time for change. It’s time to Move Her Mind.”

Visit the Move Her Mind platform and get involved, at

Notes to Editors:
The study was commissioned by ASICS and led by Dr Dee Dlugonski, Assistant Professor at Sports Medicine Research Institute, University of Kentucky, and Associate Professor Brendon Stubbs of King’s College London. Both are renowned researchers in movement and mental wellbeing.

The study ran from June – September 2023. In total, 26 focus groups took place around the world and 24,772 people completed the online survey across more than 40 countries, making it the biggest study of its kind. All focus groups were led by independent facilitators, including leading academics and industry experts.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

For further information or to organise interviews, please contact

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Trade, Industry ministry lessens difficulties facing private sector

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has lessened difficulties that might facing the private sector for encouraging the national industrial production.

In return, the General Federation of Yemeni Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the capital Sana’a praised such step for developing the industrial production in Yemen.

In a statement, the Federation and the Chamber appreciated the keenness of the caretaker Minister of Industry, Mohammed al-Mutahar, in stabilize the country’s commodity stock of food and consumer materials, and to overcome the difficulties facing private sector activities to ensure the flow of supply chains.

The statement confirmed that the relationship between the government and the private sector is witnessing momentum in the field of trade facilitation, trademarks, industrial records, corporate regulation, and the business environment.

It pointed to the efforts made by the leadership of the Ministry of Industry to solve the problems facing the priva
te sector importers of food and consumer goods at land and sea ports

Source: Yemen News Agency

Saif bin Zayed heads UAE delegation to 41st Arab Interior Ministers Council

TUNIS: Kais Saied, President of the Republic of Tunisia, received, at Carthage Palace, H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, and Arab Interior Ministers on the occasion of their participation in the 41st session of the Arab Interior Ministers Council in the Tunisian capital, Tunis.

Lt. General Sheikh Saif had headed the UAE delegation that participated in the meetings of the 41st session of the Arab Interior Ministers’ Council in Tunisia.

Sheikh Saif bin Zayed conveyed to the Tunisian President the greetings of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and expressed his appreciation for the warm reception, generous hospitality, and continued support for the success of the 41st session of the Arab Interior Ministers Council.

The session was attended by the Ministers of the Interior of the Arab countries, high-ranking security delegations, in addition to representatives of the League of Arab States, the International Criminal Po
lice Organisation (Interpol), representatives of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, and the Arab Police Sports Federation.

The current session of the Arab Interior Ministers Council discussed a number of topics related to enhancing joint Arab action and coordination in the security and police fields.

Upon his arrival to Tunisia, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior of the UAE was received by Kamel Feki, Minister of the Interior of Tunisia; Dr. Mohammad bin Ali Kuman, Secretary-General of Arab Interior Ministers Council; Dr. Iman Ahmed Al Salami, UAE Ambassador to Tunisia; and a number of officials.

Source: Emirates News Agency