The GDPRD Secretariat is pleased to announce its latest working group which is dedicated to sustainable and blended finance for food systems.

The new Thematic Working Group on Sustainable/Blended Finance for Food Systems was established in April 2024, in direct response to a recommendation from its enquiry and report “Unleashing the Catalytic Power of Donor Financing to Achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2” conducted with the Shamba Centre for Food & Climate.

Members of the group consists of bilateral and multilateral agencies, development finance institutions (DFIs), impact investors and academia, with the overall goal of increasing transparency, developing benchmarks, and building evidence to improve decision-making and more effective allocation of donor dollars.

We are delighted to introduce the Co-Chairs of this new working group, Tuleen Alkhoffash of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Songbae Lee of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). They will guide the group for the two-year term (2024-2026).

More information regarding the new group and its activities will be available in the coming weeks.

Learn more about the group's Co-Chairs

Tuleen Alkhoffash joined IFAD in April 2023 as a Senior Partnership Officer in the Global Engagement, Partnership and Resource Mobilization Division (GPR), Private Sector Financing Program (PSFP).

Prior to IFAD, Tuleen was working in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) as a Principal Manager in the Donor Co-Financing Department. In EBRD, Tuleen was managing a portfolio of Blended Finance tools (Funded Guarantees, First -Loss Risk Cover, and Local Currency Support) in conflict countries and high-risk markets, such as Ukraine and West Bank and Gaza. Prior to this, she worked as Program Management Specialist in the Economic Growth Office with USAID in Jordan, where she designed the first private sector concessional agreement in the tourism portfolio in Jordan. During her service in USAID, Tuleen was awarded by the United States Government Meritorious Award for an innovative financial structure and contractual design for the first Non-Revenue Water Project in Jordan.

Tuleen also worked in in several UN organizations including UNDP (Iraq). She possesses a M.Sc. in Poverty Reduction and Development Management from Birmingham University and an M.Sc. in Public Financial Management from SOAS University in London.

Songbae Lee is the Agricultural Finance Team Lead, at USAID Bureau for Resilience and Food Security (RFS). Songbae joined RFS in 2020 as Agricultural Finance Team Lead, supporting USAID in its efforts to mobilize capital for agriculture. Before this role, he spent eight years at Calvert Impact Capital, a non-profit impact investing debt fund, where he was responsible for deal origination, credit assessment, and ongoing portfolio monitoring. Prior to that, he worked for Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein in their global energy investment banking group in New York City, Banc of America Securities in their real estate investment banking group in San Francisco, and Mercy Corps in their microfinance institution in Kyrgyzstan. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and a B.S. from the University of Vermont.




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Maurizio Navarra

Secretariat Coordinator