Standard Chartered bank is providing 200 million dollars of not-for-profit funding towards African Export-Import Bank’s (Afreximbank) structured framework to help finance the acquisition of COVID-19 vaccines for African nations.
Afreximbank announced this in a statement on Thursday in Cairo, Egypt.
According to the statement, the collaboration between Standard Chartered and Afreximbank will ensure that 55 countries across Africa have access to COVID-19 vaccines.
“This facility will play a part in ensuring that Africa can achieve its COVID-19 strategy, which targets vaccinating a minimum of 60 per cent of Africa’s population.
“The facility is part of the Advance Procurement Commitment (APC) framework structured by Afreximbank in collaboration with the African Vaccines Acquisition Task Team (AVATT).
“Under it, Afreximbank provided a guarantee of two billion dollars to vaccine manufacturers to secure access to COVID-19 vaccines for African countries.”
Afreximbank also said that over the last year, it had also launched a number of facilities to support its member countries.
The facilities include the Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation facility (PATIMFA), under which the Bank has disbursed over 6.5 billion dollars to mitigate and manage the financial, economic and health impacts of the pandemic.
In addition, it had put in place a 1.5 billion dollar Collaborative COVID-19 Pandemic Response Facility (COPREFA), working with partners to support African economies during the pandemic.
The funding, it said, was part of the Standard Chartered’s one billion dollar financing commitment that was launched in March 2020.
It added that the funding was aimed at tackling the pandemic by financing vital equipment such as personal protective equipment, ventilators and now vaccines.
It added that to date, 900 million dollars of the fund had been allocated and over 700 million dollars disbursed to clients.
Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, said the bank was delighted that Standard Chartered had committed 200 million dollars to support the ongoing work of Afreximbank and AVATT on COVID-19 vaccines.
He added that having an effective financing solution for vaccine procurement in place for Africa was of paramount importance to ensure the continent was not left further behind in the ongoing race.
“This agreement demonstrates the unwavering commitment of Afreximbank and Standard Chartered to helping Africa overcome the challenges of the pandemic.”
Simon Cooper, Chief Executive, Corporate, Commercial and Institutional Banking at Standard Chartered, said the speed of vaccine rollout was not only a healthcare issue.
He added that it was also increasingly a differentiator of near-term, post pandemic economic recovery for African nations.
“We are acutely aware that Africa accounts for under two per cent of vaccines administered worldwide, we welcome Afreximbank’s efforts to tackle this and we want to use our one billion dollars facility to help.”
The statement added that using financing provided by Standard Chartered, Afreximbank was helping to ensure Africa’s access to COVID-19 vaccines.
This is by ensuring payment to identified vaccine manufacturers that have vaccine orders placed by African nations through the African Medical Supplies Platform.