The UNICEF USA Bridge Fund is an innovative impact investment tool that addresses the timing gaps that emerge between the commitment of a donor's support to UNICEF and the actual receipt of the pledged cash by UNICEF.
A program of the UNICEF USA Impact Fund for Children, the Bridge Fund's low-risk, high-impact profile is attractive to a range of social impact investors seeking to make a difference in the survival and development of children. The Bridge Fund is unique, not only in its mission and mandate, but also in the scale and the impact that it can achieve by leveraging UNICEF's infrastructure, economies of scale, expertise and global reach.
Since its inception in 2011, the Bridge Fund has fast tracked over $500 million to UNICEF to support emergency programs in a range of humanitarian settings around the world.
In the summer of 2022, the UNICEF USA Bridge Fund helped UNICEF accelerate its response to catastrophic flooding in Pakistan, so teams could quickly reach impacted families.
In March 2022, within weeks of the escalation of war in Ukraine, the UNICEF USA Bridge Fund provided $15.2 million in urgently-needed capital to expedite UNICEF’s emergency response — making funding available at a critical time, when millions of children and their families were displaced or fleeing the country and in immediate need of safe water, health care and protection. By August 2022, Fund support had increased to $19.1 million.
In December 2021, the Bridge Fund accelerated $9.1 million of UNICEF USA fundraising to Afghanistan to help UNICEF ramp up lifesaving treatment for the rising numbers of children suffering from severe malnutrition, among other critical services.
In November 2020, the Bridge Fund prefinanced a $10 million investment in Nigeria’s vaccine supply chain to support COVID-19 and other immunization campaigns. And in August 2020, the Bridge Fund accelerated $1.3 million to Beirut to support UNICEF's rapid emergency response following a deadly port explosion — enabling swift action to assist affected children and families.
''At a time when investors are increasingly evaluating the impact their investments have on the world, true innovative financial mechanisms like the Bridge Fund are leading with social good as the goal," Cristina Shapiro, who oversees the Bridge Fund as President of the UNICEF USA Impact Fund for Children, wrote in an op-ed for Impact Alpha. "We need to ask how organizations across the board can tap into trillions of dollars of private capital for good. And we need to make it attractive to investors... Philanthropy alone cannot solve some of the biggest challenges facing children."
Additional details about the Bridge Fund's impact are provided in our Quarterly and Annual Activity Reports:
To review reports prior to 2019, please contact us.
Contact Cristina Shapiro, IF4C President, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Erin Egan, Managing Director, Operations, at email@example.com to learn more about the Bridge Fund and how you can support UNICEF's lifesaving work.