IFC partners with Co-op Bank and Phillips to help African Health providers access essential medical equipments

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.

A local dispensary in rural Kilifi, Kenyan coast (file image)

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

Co-op Bank secures Ksh 8.25 billion MSME financing from International Finance Corporation (IFC)

The Co-operative Bank of Kenya has secured a long-term financing facility arranged by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) amounting to US$ 75 million (Sh 8.25 Billion) for on-lending to MSMEs at affordable terms.

The long term loan has a tenure of 7 years, coming in as Tier II Supplementary Capital.

Co-op Bank will apply the proceeds to of the facility to support customers to better cope with the disruptions brought about by the pandemic.

Co-OP Bank Group MD and CEO Gideon Muriuki during the recent virtual Bank AGM.

Specifically, the facility is intended to support customers operating in the following key business areas;

  • Micro, Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs),
  • Businesses undertaking Climate Smart Projects, including Agricultural inputs and sustainable agricultural practices, Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and related areas.

Commenting upon the signing of the loan agreement, Co-op Bank Group Managing Director & CEO Dr. Gideon Muriuki said:

“The funding has come at a most opportune time as it boosts our ability to better support our MSME customers to stabilise and turn-around their businesses to meet the challenges brought about by the pandemic.”

Co-op Bank has leveraged its strong balance sheet with total assets at over Sh 510 Billion (as at 30 September 2020) and the IFC facility will substantially enhance the bank’s opportunities for growth and overall performance as here under;

  1. Support the key MSME business customers to not only survive the pandemic but also to remain operational and viable for the long term.
  2. Enhance the bank’s assets and liability match, with long-term loans to customers being financed using the long-term debt.
  3. Diversify the bank’s asset and funding portfolio by increasing long-term funding to support deposits funding.
  4. Boost the bank’s competitive position on account of affordable lending.

The key IFC facility comes in handy especially at this time as the bank is implementing mitigating strategies to help customers ride out the ravages of the pandemic.

Co-op Bank remains confident that the strategic initiatives that have been put in place focused on resilience and growth will give the business the impetus for sustained growth.