The European Investment Bank, the world’s largest multilateral bank, and Afreximbank, the pan-African multilateral financial institution, have joined forces to enhance healthcare and pharmaceutical investment across sub-Saharan Africa and strengthen health resilience on the continent.
The new EUR 200 million health investment initiative was formally launched today by EIB Vice President Thomas Östros and Afreximbank Executive Vice President Denys Denya at the 5th United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries taking place in Doha, Qatar.
Afreximbank and the European Investment Bank will each provide EUR 100 million new investment to update and expand public healthcare facilities and enhance production of safe, affordable and effective medicines across sub-Saharan Africa. This is EIB’s first dedicated backing for intermediated health investment in Africa,
The new Africa health financing initiative, part of the European Union Global Gateway initiative, has been designed by health, financial and technical experts from EIB and Afreximbank to unlock crucial investment to improve access to local healthcare and scale-up production of medicines essential to tackle deadly diseases such as cancer, HIV, malaria and tuberculosis.
“As part of Team Europe, the European Investment Bank supports high-impact health investment around the world. The new EIB-Afreximbank health resilience initiative will unlock EUR 200 million of financing to strengthen health resilience across sub-Saharan Africa by improving access to healthcare and increasing local pharmaceutical manufacturing. This targeted financing cooperation between the EIB and leading financial partner Afreximbank demonstrates how partnership between Europe and Africa is improving lives and unlocking priority health investment.” said Thomas Östros, European Investment Bank Vice President.
“The coronavirus pandemic highlighted how the health of millions of African is uniquely threatened by limited access to both effective healthcare and affordable medicines. Afreximbank is pleased to join forces with the European Investment Bank to provide a co-lending facility of EUR 200 million to improve effective responses to health challenges across sub-Saharan Africa. This investment will build on the success of our existing cooperation designed to enhance access to finance by companies impacted by the pandemic and climate change induced challenges.” said Mr. Denys Denya, Executive Vice President of Afreximbank.
Improving access to healthcare across Africa
Rapid expansion of affordable public healthcare is crucial to improve public health in Africa.
The new EIB-Afreximbank initiative will support new investment in health facilities, including construction and equipment of clinicals and hospitals, essential to enable rapid treatment of communicable diseases, reduce infant mortality and facilitate accessibility to public healthcare.
Supporting investment to expand local pharmaceutical production
At present only a few countries in sub-Saharan Africa host pharmaceutical production companies.
The new health resilience investment initiative will also target financing to scale up local production of quality pharmaceuticals in sub-Saharan Africa. This will help to address the chronic shortage of essential medicines needed to combat cancer, HIV, malaria and tuberculosis as well as improve medical care for new-born infants and mothers.
Since the start of the COVID pandemic, the European Investment Bank has provided more than EUR 12 billion for health investment around the world, including support for vaccine development, production and distribution, upgrading hospitals and improving medical education. In recent years, the EIB has supported health and healthcare investment in Angola, Benin, Ghana, Morocco and Niger alongside supporting the COVAX Covid vaccine initiative across Africa.
Afreximbank spearheaded Africa’s effective response to the COVID pandemic by financing the Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) that enabled pooled procurement of PPEs, and providing 2 billion dollars to procure and distribute vaccines under the acclaimed AVAT program.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.
EIB Global is the EIB Group’s specialised arm dedicated to increasing the impact of international partnerships and development finance. EIB Global is designed to foster strong, focused partnership within Team Europe, alongside fellow development finance institutions, and civil society. EIB Global brings the Group closer to local people, companies and institutions through our offices across the world.
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. Afreximbank deploys innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa.
Afreximbank has a rich history of intervening in support of African countries in times of crisis. Through the Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA) launched in April 2020, the Bank has disbursed more than US$7 billion to help member countries manage the adverse impact of the financial, economic, and health shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.