The White House on Thursday 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.