IFC has launched a financing platform to increase the access of those countries to healthcare supplies to help developing countries fight the coronavirus pandemic with more masks, ventilators, test kits, and potential vaccines.
The $4-billion Global Health Platform will help address the severe shortage of medical supplies in developing countries. The platform will provide financing to manufacturers of healthcare products, suppliers of critical raw materials, and healthcare service providers so they can expand the capacity for products and services to be delivered to developing countries. IFC, the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets, will contribute $2 billion from its own account while mobilizing an additional $2 billion from private-sector partners.
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Chief Operating Officer of IFC, Stephanie von Friedeburg said, “As the pandemic surges in developing countries, access to critical healthcare supplies and services is becoming increasingly constrained. IFC’s new platform will provide a lifeline to these countries while helping them build the foundations for more resilient healthcare systems.”
The financing will be offered to both existing and new IFC clients, mostly in developing countries. To ensure the platform benefits developing countries, companies based in developed countries that receive funding must commit a share of their supply to developing countries.
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More than $60 billion would be required to expand supply to meet the surge in demand around the world triggered by the pandemic, including for personal protective equipment and medical equipment, as well as therapeutics, diagnostics, and vaccines being developed, based on data from the World Health Organization. IFC will work with multilateral development banks, development finance institutions and other partners to mobilize additional financing.
The health platform builds on the $8-billion fast-track financing facility that IFC has rolled out to help keep companies in business and preserve jobs in developing countries. In four months, IFC has committed $3.7 billion of the facility to help shore up private sector activity, especially among micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises. IFC has fully utilized the $2 billion under the trade-finance envelope of the facility to support client financial institutions to keep liquidity flowing to businesses that depend on trade. IFC has now committed projects in every region in which the institution operates.
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IFC’s response is part of the World Bank Group’s effort to take broad, fast action to help developing countries strengthen their pandemic response, increase disease surveillance, and improve public health interventions. IFC is working closely with the World Bank, which is helping developing countries procure medical supplies, and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), which has committed $6.5 billion to help private-sector investors and lenders tackle COVID-19.