President Trump announced Saturday that the United States will pledge $50 million to a new World Bank initiative which his daughter Ivanka has helped to spearhead and will take a leading advocacy role going forward.
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In applauding his daughter’s work in the creation of the new fund, which will aim to help women entrepreneurs in developing nations gain access to capital and connect them with mentors, the president suggested that his daughter’s life would be easier if not for him.
"If she weren't my daughter it would be so much easier for her," Trump said at a G-20 event in Hamburg, Germany, where the initiative, called The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, was formally rolled out. "That might be the only bad thing she has going if you want to know the truth."
“You’re helping women all over the world, and I want to thank you,” he added.
The president’s daughter has received no shortage of criticism from both progressive and conservative observers since taking an active role in her father’s administration. While she has been mocked for being “complicit” to her father’s agenda by late night TV, she has been criticized by some conservatives supportive of the nationalist elements of her father’s platform as being “globalist.”
A senior World Bank official could not offer specifics on how many women stand to benefit from the initiative, which will function as a trust fund within the World Bank. The official said the initiative will be governed by its contributors, which includes country partners and also potentially private sector and individual contributors in the future.
The official said the fund will seek to help women entrepreneurs gain access to small and medium sized loans –ranging in size from a few hundred dollars to upwards of tens of thousands or maybe even hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to the official.
While a senior White House official said the initiative grew out of conversations between Ivanka and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim early in the Trump administration, the official said Ivanka’s role going forward will be limited to advocacy and that she will play no role in fundraising or in the governance of the initiative.
The United States' contribution of $50 million is among the largest donations to the new facility that seeks to enable more than $1 billion to the cause of advancing women's economic empowerment in the developing world, according to a World Bank press release.