Global health leaders announced at the GBCHealth Conference a partnership that will dramatically speed up the delivery of life saving medicines, vaccines, mosquito nets and contraceptives in low-and middle-income countries.
USAID and the Swedish International Agency for Development Corporate (Sida) will provide a partial guarantee that will enable recipients of donor aid to get bank loans to buy their health supplies quickly, instead of waiting months for the funds to arrive.
The announcement marks a massive scale up of an innovative financing mechanism called the Pledge Guarantee for Health (PGH).
“The timing of that funding, the cash flow, can sometimes be just as important as the absolute amount of money available,” said Ray Chambers, the UN Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals and for Malaria. “Timing often means the difference between life and death. Pledge Guarantee for Health zeros in on this problem, providing bridge financing to overcome delays, accelerating the procurement of essential health commodities.”
USAID Administrator Raj Shah called the PGH an example of “sound and innovative business thinking to improve the way we try to save lives around the world.”
Anders Nordström, the Swedish Global Health Ambassador, called PGH “another tool for eliminating poverty and improving the health of people around the world.”
Kathy Calvin, President and CEO of the United Nations Foundation, applauded the program’s scale up and said that $17 million in completed transactions through PGH in its incubation period have already “expedited the disbursement of foreign assistance and made global health supplies more affordable for developing countries.”
Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, praised the program. But he said that the long-term goal was to improve the system to eliminate the gaps between when donor aid is approved and when recipients can receive it to purchase their health supplies. He challenged the private sector to help “develop systems that will get the products to people when they need them to save lives.”
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