African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Standard Chartered, on Thursday, announced an agreement for Standard Chartered to provide US$200m of not-for-profit funding towards Afreximbank’s structured framework to help finance the acquisition of COVID-19 vaccines for African nations.
The partnership, according to a statement, will help ensure that 55 countries across Africa have access to COVID-19 vaccines, and will help ensure that Africa achieves its COVID-19 strategy, which targets vaccinating a minimum of 60% of Africa’s population.
This facility, the statement continued, is part of the Advance Procurement Commitment (APC) framework structured by Afreximbank in collaboration with the African Vaccines Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), under which Afreximbank provided a guarantee of USD 2bn to vaccine manufacturers to secure access to COVID-19 vaccines for African countries.
Over the last year, Afreximbank has also launched a number of facilities to support its Member Countries.
These include the Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation facility (PATIMFA), under which the Bank has disbursed over US$6.5bn to mitigate and manage the financial, economic and health impacts of the pandemic. In addition, Afreximbank put in place a US$1.5bn Collaborative Covid-19 Pandemic Response Facility (COPREFA), working with partners to support African economies during the pandemic.
The funding is part of the Standard Chartered’s US$1bn financing commitment that was launched in March 2020, which aims to tackle the pandemic by financing vital equipment such as personal protective equipment, ventilators and now vaccines. To date, US$900m of this have been allocated and over US$700m disbursed to clients.
Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, said: “We are delighted that Standard Chartered has committed US$200m to support the ongoing work of Afreximbank and AVATT in helping African countries secure access to COVID-19 vaccines. Having an effective financing solution for vaccine procurement in place for Africa is of paramount importance to ensure we are 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 is not only a healthcare issue but is increasingly a differentiator of near-term, post-pandemic economic recovery for African nations. We are acutely aware that Africa accounts for under 2% of vaccines administered worldwide; we welcome Afreximbank’s efforts to tackle this and we want to use our US$1bn facilities to help.” Using financing provided by Standard Chartered, Afreximbank is helping to ensure Africa’s access to COVID-19 vaccines by ensuring payment to identified vaccine manufacturers that have vaccine orders placed by African nations through the African Medical Supplies Platform