IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today launched a partnership with Philips and Co-op Bank to help smaller businesses in Africa’s health sector purchase essential medical equipment and strengthen their response to COVID-19.
The partnerships are the first under the IFC-led Africa Medical Equipment Facility, designed to provide risk-sharing facilities to help small businesses access up to $300 million in loans and leases.
Through the facility, IFC is partnering with medical equipment manufacturers and local financial institutions to support healthcare providers in East & Central Africa.
The loan size to smaller healthcare providers -which serve more than half of Africa’s population, including low-income patients – is expected to range from $5,000 to $2 million, to help them lease or purchase equipment.
Currently, most smaller healthcare operators in Africa cannot secure bank loans due to their perceived high investment risks, meaning they can’t afford medical equipment, renovations, or to recruit qualified personnel.
“Many smaller healthcare businesses in Africa don’t have the equipment they need to respond to COVID-19 and deliver other vital services,” said Makhtar Diop, IFC’s Managing Director.
“Unlocking access to finance can save lives now and will, in the long term, strengthen healthcare systems across the continent.”
Supported by the International Development Association Private Sector Window (IDA-PSW) Blended Finance Facility and the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF), the facility falls under IFC’s Global Health Platform, which was launched to help developing countries fight the coronavirus pandemic and increase their healthcare systems’ resilience.
“Lack of access to affordable quality healthcare is one of the most pressing issues of our time,” said Winfried Jansen, Health Systems Leader, Philips Africa.
“Philips aims to contribute substantially to improving healthcare in Africa through innovative solutions that are tailored to local needs. Many clinics on the continent would like to invest in new medical technology but find it difficult to obtain the necessary finance. Together with Philips Capital and through this partnership with IFC we are enabling healthcare facilities to make quality healthcare available to a large group of people.”
IFC expects to expand the Africa Medical Equipment Facility to more countries and invites interested financial institutions and equipment manufacturers to contact IFC to explore partnerships