U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), International Finance Corporation (IFC), European Investment Bank (EIB), and AFD, the French Development Agency on July 9 announced their commitment to support ‘La Fondation Institut Pasteur de Dakar (IPD)’, a vaccine manufacturer in Senegal, to bolster the production of COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
“DFC is proud to highlight our commitment to IPD, as part of our effort under President Biden’s leadership to support vaccine manufacturing capacity across the globe. With COVID-19 cases on the rise in Africa, this critical investment in vaccine manufacturing capacity in Senegal could not come at a better time,” said David Marchick, DFC’s Chief Operating Officer. “Working with the IFC and European partners, our contribution will boost COVID-19 vaccinations on the African continent and contribute to long-term health and prosperity.”
The investment in IPD represents DFC’s third investment in boosting global vaccine manufacturing. DFC’s effort is a core part of the Biden Administration’s effort to boost manufacturing in multiple regions, in large and small countries and with different technologies. It also aligns with the Administration’s COVID-19 Global Response and Recovery Framework. DFC’s support for this project also builds on collaborative work with the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which have a longstanding relationship with IPD.
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged health systems around the world and highlighted both the dependency on more developed markets for pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and vaccines, as well as disparities in access to these critical products. Working together with partner development finance institutions, support for IPD will seek to address both of these issues for Africa, not only in the context of COVID-19, but long-term. The support from the development finance institutions (DFIs) comes at a critical time for Africa, with approximately 1 percent of Africa’s 1.1 billion people vaccinated, it has the lowest rate of vaccination of any continent.
The technical assistance will help mobilize technical and financial resources from public and private entities to contribute to the development of IPD’s vaccine manufacturing facility in Dakar. The support is a first step to grow the facility’s long-term capacity to contribute to health resilience in Africa for many years to come.
In addition to this effort, DFC recently announced that it will partner with IFC, Proparco, and DEG to provide financing to Aspen, Africa’s largest manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, helping increase capacity to support Aspen’s effort to produce COVID-19 vaccines. DFC is also working with Indian manufacturer Biological E Ltd. to increase vaccine production capacity and produce at least 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2022. In addition, the agency is working on expanding access to critical therapeutics and introducing medical equipment designed for low-resource environments. DFC’s Global Health and Prosperity Initiative will catalyze up to $5 billion in investment to projects that support the COVID-19 response and build greater health resilience.
Last month, President Biden and G7 Leaders endorsed Build Back Better World (B3W), a values-based, high standard, and transparent infrastructure partnership to help meet the tremendous infrastructure needs of low- and middle-income countries around the world. Infrastructure which is developed in partnership with those whom it benefits will last longer and generate greater development impact. Through B3W, the United States, together with G7 partners, will strengthen and harmonize efforts to engage local communities and provide the infrastructure needed to prosper in the 21st century, particularly in the areas of climate, health and health security, information and communications technology, and gender equality. This project—DFC’s technical assistance for IPD—is a prime example of what B3W can deliver.