The World Bank Group’s private-sector arm said on Wednesday it is launching a $4 billion financing platform
aimed at boosting the production and supply of critical health care products in developing countries to
help fight the coronavirus pandemic.
The International Finance Corp’s initiative is largely aimed at private-sector projects to manufacture products
such as personal protective equipment, ventilators and other medical equipment, coronavirus test kits,
therapeutic drugs and vaccines.
IFC is contributing $2 billion in internal resources with plans for another $2 billion to come from private-sector partners.
The group also intends to work with other international financial institutions to leverage additional funds,
IFC Chief Operating Officer Stephanie von Friedenburg told Reuters in an interview
She added that IFC also is working with the GAVI global vaccine alliance to identify and finance
projects that can boost COVID-19 vaccine production in developing countries.
The World Health Organization estimates that worldwide demand for critical healthcare products,
including masks and ventilators, now exceeds supply by more than $60 billion annually.
Initial products financed by the IFC platform will be focused on immediate supply needs, but longer-term,
the platform aims to finance projects that will build up developing country health care systems,
von Friedenburg said.