Acumen Fund CEO Jacqueline Novogratz has been visiting earthquake-affected areas of Pakistan, and documenting her travels in a journal. Excerpts of each day’s entry will be posted.
December 2 – Karachi
To say the earthquake in Pakistan is devastating does little to reveal the extent of damage, its cost, and what the rebuilding, rehabilitation and rebirth is going to take. In so many places in Pakistan, people are starting over after having lost three or four generations’ worth of savings, not only in terms of their homes, which are their main asset, but in terms of their families’ assets, their blankets and water jugs.
Acumen Fund doesn’t do relief. We don’t know how to do it, and it is not consistent with our mission to do it. At the same time, we have made a significant commitment to Pakistan, feel deeply connected to the country and owe it to Pakistanis – and ourselves – to understand better what is happening and to see whether there might be a longer-term role that we could play in bringing to bear our principles of creating organizations that can scale and become financially sustainable.
Our objectives are threefold. Aun Rahman, our Pakistan country manager, and I will visit the affected areas to gain a better understanding of the situation and test a few assumptions around what, if anything, Acumen Fund might do in the short term. Second, we are here to see if we can move some of our existing investments and pipeline opportunities forward. Third, we have come to meet with our partners, discuss the future, and hear from them how we all want to progress together. All this in a week.