The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is the private sector wing of the World Bank Group. Rashad-Rudolf Kaldany heads the Oil, Gas, Mining, and Chemicals Department.
The Oil, Gas, Mining, and Chemicals Department aims to catalyze private investment by structuring innovative transactions and providing project finance, corporate loans, and equity to private companies for investments in oil, gas, and chemicals projects. The Department combines the public sector policy strengths of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) of the World Bank and the transaction expertise of the International Finance Corporation.
The IFC and World Bank’s involvement in the sector has been controversial but Rashad believes there is a role for them in the sector, which accounts for about 3% or US$ 500 – 600 million of World Bank loans each year. Part of his responsibilities is to oversee a team that advises governments on policies designed to create a positive investment climate, and achieve other policy objectives, including environmental and social goals. “Our stance is these projects can contribute to development and getting the World Bank involved can make a difference to standards and ensure that regulations on environmental and social issues are adhered to,” he asserted. He added, “We must also look at the impact of our actions on poverty reduction. If we do not finance these projects and no one else does, NGOs’ objectives will be met but it won’t reduce poverty and it won’t make the world consume less oil.”
One of the programs supported by the IFC is the promotion of greater transparency and accountability relating to oil, gas, and mining sector revenues through the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which the IFC and World Bank joined in 2003. “This is, and will be, a high priority issue for our stakeholders in civil society,” Rashad explained. The Department is also involved in carbon emission programs, through supporting clean coal and bio-fuel initiatives as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels and gas flaring reduction. “Over 150 billion cubic meters (or 5.3 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas are being flared and vented annually. That is equivalent to 25% of the United States’ gas consumption or 30% of the European Union’s gas consumption,” Rashad said. He further added, “Gas flaring also deprives developing countries of an energy source that is cleaner and often cheaper than others available, and reduces potential tax revenue and trade opportunities.”
Rashad joined the IFC in 1988 in the West Africa and Middle East Department and in 1990 transferred to the Middle East and North Africa Department. He has held various roles within the organization, including Special Assistant to IFC’s Executive Vice Presidents, Senior Manager within the Office of the Vice President, Investment Operations, and a two-year stint as Director of the South and Southeast Asia Department, based in New Delhi, India. He returned to Washington DC in 2000 as the Director of the Oil, Gas & Chemicals Department, which merged with the Mining Department in July 2002. He has a PhD from Columbia University and an MBA from Stanford University in the USA.