HAMBURG—President Donald Trump said Saturday the U.S. would contribute $50 million to a new World Bank fund conceived by his daughter that aims to help women entrepreneurs access capital and other support.
Ivanka Trump joined World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim on the sidelines of the Group of 20 world leaders’ summit in Hamburg, Germany, to launch the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative.
Kim said the fund had raised more than $325 million so far for projects and programs to support women and women-led businesses by improving access to capital and markets, providing technical assistance, training and mentoring, and pushing public policy. The fund grew out of conversations between Ivanka Trump and Kim early in Trump’s administration.
“This is not a cute little project,” Kim said during a panel discussion, arguing the effort would spur real economic growth.
President Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Angela Merkel also spoke at the event, where Trump said the fund would help eliminate barriers for women to launch businesses, help transform “millions and millions of lives,” and “provide new hope to these women from countless communities all across the world.”
“The critical investments we’re announcing today will help advance the economic empowerment of women around the world,” he said.
The commitment comes as the Trump administration has proposed dramatic cuts to diplomatic and development funding in line with the president’s “America First” foreign policy doctrine. His proposal would cut money for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development by more than 31 per cent in the budget year beginning in October. He’s also banned federal dollars from going to international groups working on issues such as HIV, AIDS and maternal and child health if they perform abortions or even provide information on the procedure.
The president has been criticized for crude remarks he’s made about women over the years, including a recent tweet focusing on a television news host’s appearance. Trump’s senior staff is dominated by men, despite the considerable influence of Ivanka Trump, who serves as a senior White House adviser.
In addition to the U.S., Germany and Canada, the new fund has also received contributions from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, Australia, China, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, and South Korea.