The outbreak has shone a spotlight on the material inequalities and disparities in social and economic factors worldwide. And, for corporates, banks and investors alike, it has become increasingly clear that a lack of social capital, be it employees, customers, or suppliers, can have a significant financial impact. This, in turn, has bolstered the argument for safeguarding and strengthening the world’s social fabric in order to build resilience into the global economy.
As governments quarantined their citizens and central banks rolled out record levels of fiscal and monetary relief, private companies and financial institutions joined the ranks of multilateral agencies to raise funds to repair the damage inflicted by the coronavirus on public health, the global economy and society at large. By June end, social bond issuances had already totaled USD 37.9 billion surpassing the USD 18.5 billion in issuances witnessed during all of 20191.
Now, as governments around the world lift lockdowns and look for ways to resurrect their economies, there is a growing recognition of the importance of human capital and a fresh urgency to filter our vision of the future with a social lens – to build back better and create a healthy, sustainable economy that is more equal in all respects than the one that existed before the advent of COVID-19. Various sustainable financing products, including social bonds, can help achieve this.