The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has launched a $4 billion financing platform aimed at strengthening production and supply of critical healthcare products in developing countries. IFC is a member of the World Bank and is headquartered in Washington.
The initiative is largely directed toward private sector projects which comprise manufacturing of personal protective equipment, ventilators, coronavirus test kits, therapeutic drugs, vaccines and other medical devices.
IFC Chief Operating Officer Stephanie von Friedenburg, told the media, “We have to expand the capacity of services as well as supplies to make a more resilient future.”
According to the World Health Organisation, demand for critical healthcare products amid the pandemic has surpassed supply by more than $60 billion annually. The initiative will be highly significant to the global healthcare system.
One of the many reasons for the initiative to allow up to 30 percent of the financing to go to developed countries is because complex medical equipments such as ventilators are built in developed countries. This means those countries require additional financial assistance to support manufacturing of sophisticated medical devices to meet global demand.
It is reported that the IFC is closely working with with the GAVI to recognise projects that can potentially increase Covid-19 vaccine production in developing countries, media reports said. GAVI is a public-private global health partnership aimed at increasing access to immunisation.