COVID-19 has presented a global health emergency and exposed weaknesses in health systems in the developing world. As many countries continue to suffer severe outbreaks, DFC is responding to COVID-19 by taking a multipronged approach that helps to expand access to critical therapeutics, introduce medical equipment designed for low-resource environments, bolster liquidity, and strengthen existing health systems to ensure essential services continue during the pandemic.
The agency is also working to address vaccine shortages by increasing manufacturing capacity in multiple regions, with multiple technologies and within large and small countries. DFC's investments are projected to facilitate expansion of more than 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses across the globe, with more projects in the pipeline. This robust approach is tailored to advance long-term sustainable solutions to address current and future health threats.
To further these efforts, DFC, IFC, and development finance institutions from France and Germany will together provide financing to Aspen Pharmacare—Africa’s largest pharmaceutical company—that would help increase capacity to support Aspen’s effort to produce vaccines.
In addition to Aspen, DFC is helping Senegalese-based vaccine manufacturer Fondation Institut Pasteur de Dakar (IPD) and Indian manufacturer Biological E Ltd. increase capacity to expand COVID-19 vaccine production for developing countries. DFC and Citi are also providing political risk insurance that will enable Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to pre-purchase up to 2 billion vaccines directly from manufacturers and allocate these vaccines rapidly and impartially across the globe.
Further, DFC’s Global Health and Prosperity Initiative seeks to catalyze up to $5 billion in investment to projects that support the COVID-19 response and build greater health resilience. DFC’s Rapid Response Liquidity Facility is providing up to $4 billion to existing projects that are facing challenges as a result of the pandemic.
DFC's investments are helping advance the Build Back Better World (B3W) Initiative, which aims to mobilize private sector capital for infrastructure projects in four key areas: climate change mitigation and adaptation, global health, gender equity and equality, and information and communications technology.