Children’s Investment Fund Foundation

The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) is an independent philanthropic organisation working towards a world in which every child can flourish in a healthy, fair and safe environment, now and in the future. To achieve this vision, CIFF’s work falls under three intersecting goals: Safe and Healthy Childhoods, which includes essential access to health, nutrition, and protection; Gender Empowerment and Informed Choice, which includes universal sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and girls’ education and skilling; as well as Climate action.

Established in 2002, by Sir Chris Hohn, CIFF has offices in Nairobi, Addis Abba, Delhi, Beijing and London. CIFF works at a global and local level, adapting its work in Africa, India and East and Southeast Asia, based on the local context, with our regional teams guiding this decision-making. This work is underpinned by a rigorous, sustainable approach to grant-making, embedding evidence, measurement and evaluation across the sector and helping build our partners’ sustainability.

The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation provided USD 362.2 million for development in 2021. Compared to 2020, this amount represents a decrease of 6.4% in real terms. Grants represented 98% of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation’s gross disbursements, while 2% was extended as standard loans and equity investments.

In 2021, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation provided USD 33.6 million to the multilateral system, representing 9.3% of its development finance, all of which was earmarked for specific countries, regions, themes or purposes.

The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation channelled almost all of its multilateral aid through the UN entities and the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The United Nations (UN) system received USD 27.5 million from the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation in 2021. The most significant UN recipients were UNICEF (USD 13.4 million), UNFPA (USD 10 million) and WHO (USD 4 million).

See the section on geographic and thematic focus for the geographical and thematic breakdown of bilateral allocations earmarked through the multilateral development system.

In 2021, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation channelled its contributions mostly through non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society (USD 230.4 million), universities, research institutes or think-tanks (USD 53.8 million) and multilateral organisations (USD 33.6 million).

In 2021, civil society organisations (CSOs) received USD 230.4 million of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation’s development finance. A share of 7.5% of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation’s development finance was allocated to CSOs as core support, while 56.1% was earmarked to specific projects. A majority of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation’s contributions channelled through the CSOs were channelled through international and donor country-based organisations.

In 2021, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation’s development finance was primarily focused on Africa and Asia. USD 120.2 million was allocated to Africa and USD 60.2 million to South and East Asia, accounting respectively for 33.2% and 16.6% of development finance. A sum of USD 174.4 million (48.2%) was unspecified by region in 2021, mainly including multi-regional programmes.

In 2021, 34.9% of development finance went to the top 10 recipients. The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation’s most significant recipients included India (USD 32.6 million), Ethiopia (USD 31.9 million) and China (People’s Republic of) (USD 20 million). Moreover, 64.1% of development finance was not allocated by country.

Least developed countries (LDCs) received USD 40 million (11%) of Children’s Investment Fund Foundation’s gross disbursements in 2021. It allocated the highest share of its development finance (16.9%) to lower middle-income countries in 2021 and 7.9% to upper middle-income countries, noting that USD 232.3 million (64.1%) was unallocated by income group.

Support to fragile contexts reached USD 63.8 million in 2021, representing 17.6% of Children’s Investment Fund Foundation’s development finance.

Learn more about support to fragile contexts on the States of Fragility platform.

In 2021, more than half of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation’s commitments were allocated to social infrastructure and services. Investments in this area accounted for 54.1% of the foundation’s development finance (USD 293.4 million), with a strong focus on support to health and population (USD 283 million). Contributions to multi-sector totalled USD 167.8 million (30.9%), mostly focusing on general environment protection (USD 137.9 million).

In 2021, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation committed the largest shares of its contributions to goals on good health and well-being (SDG 3), climate action (SDG 13) and gender equality (SDG 5) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. Commitments for climate action (SDG 13) amounted to USD 226.9 million and USD 120.7 for SDG 5.

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The methodological notes provide further details on the definitions and statistical methodologies applied, including core and earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations, the Sustainable Development Goal focus of private development finance, channels of delivery, unspecified/unallocated allocations, the gender equality policy marker, and the environment markers.

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