DFC financing up to $1 billion for Gavi COVID-19 vaccine and ancillary supply purchase and delivery
19-05-2022 11:57:00 | by: Marlene Mutimawase | hits: 2720 | Tags:

The White House  announced that U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance have partnered to create the COVAX Rapid Financing Facility, which will provide up to $1 billion to accelerate COVID-19 vaccine and ancillary supply purchase and delivery on behalf of developing countries participating in the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC).

The aim of this new innovative financing instrument is to allow Gavi to monetize sovereign and private sector pledges to the COVAX AMC and consequently maximize impact by minimizing waiting time for the funding.

This tool will give the COVAX AMC additional liquidity to support the availability of COVID-19 vaccines, including variant-adapted doses, in response to risks and shocks, and it will enable COVAX to act quickly to secure access to extra doses.

“DFC’s $1 billion investment will accelerate COVID-19 vaccine availability for less-developed countries around the world,” said DFC CEO Scott Nathan. “DFC’s strong partnership with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance advances the Biden-Harris Administration’s effort to ensure more countries can acquire safe, reliable vaccines to advance the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“We are grateful to DFC and the U.S. Government for this important new financing tool, which will speed the availability of funding COVAX needs to close the still-stubborn COVID vaccine equity gap,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which manages the COVAX Facility. “With this new tool, COVAX can better respond to the next twist and turn of the pandemic and manage risks that countries can’t face alone.”

The COVAX Rapid Financing Facility is particularly useful to donors who, due to budgetary or other considerations, wish to make payment to Gavi over the next four years.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disproportionately affect low- and middle-income countries lacking capital to purchase vaccines for underserved populations. Studies show that unless vaccines and ancillary supplies are more equitably manufactured and available throughout the developing world, health security will remain diminished, and health and economic recovery worldwide will be delayed.

Pending the finalization of an agreement between DFC and Gavi, the $1 billion facility will strengthen COVAX’s capacity to provide many countries access to safe, reliable COVID-19 vaccines to help improve health conditions and boost economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic.

DFC’s investment is its largest-ever healthcare project and contributes to the Corporation’s Global Health and Prosperity Initiative, which supports the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthening health resilience in developing countries.

Through the initiative, DFC is working to catalyze $5 billion in projects that bolster health systems, support infrastructure development, and expand access to clean water, sanitation, and nutrition.

U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today. We invest across sectors including energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure, and technology. DFC also provides financing for small businesses and women entrepreneurs in order to create jobs in emerging markets. DFC investments adhere to high standards and respect the environment, human rights, and worker rights.

COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is co-led by CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF and WHO – working in partnership with developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers, PAHO, the World Bank, and others. It is the only global initiative that is working with governments and manufacturers to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to both high-income and lower-income countries.

Gavi leads on procurement and delivery at scale for COVAX: designing and managing the COVAX Facility and the Gavi COVAX AMC and working with its traditional Alliance partners UNICEF and WHO, along with governments, on country readiness and delivery.

As part of this role, Gavi hosts the Office of the COVAX Facility to coordinate the operation and governance of the mechanism as a whole, holds financial and legal relationships with 193 Facility participants, and manages the COVAX Facility deals portfolio: negotiating advance purchase agreements with manufacturers of promising vaccine candidates to secure doses on behalf of all COVAX Facility participants.

Gavi also coordinates design, operationalization and fundraising for the Gavi COVAX AMC, the mechanism that provides access to donor-funded doses of vaccine to 92 lower-income economies.

As part of this work, Gavi provides funding and oversight for UNICEF procurement and delivery of vaccines to all AMC participants – operationalising the advance purchase agreements between Gavi and manufacturers – as well as support for partners’ and governments work on readiness and delivery.

This includes tailored support to governments, UNICEF, WHO and other partners for cold chain equipment, technical assistance, syringes, vehicles, and other aspects of the vastly complex logistical operation for delivery.

Gavi also co-designed, raises funds for and supports the operationalisation of the AMC’s no-fault compensation mechanism as well as the COVAX Humanitarian Buffer.