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ANTI-MALARIA BED NETS DELIVERED TO ZAMBIA AHEAD OF SCHEDULE TO SAVE THOUSANDS OF LIVES THROUGH AN INNOVATIVE HEALTH FINANCING MECHANISM
Pledge Guarantee for Health will help streamline the aid pipeline to get health supplies to countries in record time, saving lives, reducing costs and eliminating waste
Washington, DC and Lusaka, Zambia (February 22, 2011) — Today, more than 800,000 anti-malaria bed nets have arrived and been distributed in Zambia three months ahead of schedule and before the peak of the deadly rainy season, thanks to a deal reached by the Government of Zambia, the World Bank, UNICEF, Stanbic Bank Zambia, part of the Standard Bank Group and the United Nations Foundation, supported by the African Leaders Malaria Alliance and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Malaria.
This deal marks the inaugural transaction of the Pledge Guarantee for Health (PGH), a new financial tool developed by the UN Foundation, through the Reproductive Health Supply Coalition, with help from Dalberg Global Development Advisors, and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, that streamlines the procurement of lifesaving health supplies. The $4.8 million deal will provide anti-malaria bed nets to 1.6 million people and potentially avert tens of thousands of malaria cases, saving the lives of thousands of children in Zambia, who are more at risk of catching malaria during the rainy season.
Kapembwa Simbao, the Honorable Minister of Health for the Republic of Zambia said, "Congratulations and many thanks to the partners who worked quickly and efficiently to pilot this innovative finance mechanism in Zambia. This coordinated and rapid response accelerated the distribution of malaria control interventions and ultimately saved lives in my country."
"The process is new, but the goal of Pledge Guarantee for Health is simple: to more quickly and effectively reduce childhood deaths from easily preventable diseases," said Kevin Starace, Executive Director of Global Health Innovation at the UN Foundation. "The PGH helps streamline the flow of aid dollars, reducing inefficiencies and premiums that governments pay on health commodities due to bottlenecks in the grant disbursement process."
Here is how it works. PGH facilitates short-term loans to developing country recipients on the basis of pending aid commitments. This enables recipients to avoid stock-outs, emergency shipments, and high costs that can arise when they must wait for funding to replenish supplies of critical medicines. The PGH is flexible, and transactions are structured to accommodate needs of both recipients and donors. Thanks to PGH facilitating the process and guaranteeing the bank loan, health supplies are procured up to eight months faster, and commodity premiums are reduced by up to 83 percent.
"We applaud the efforts of countries like Zambia and development partners to create a system that gets health aid to where it’s needed fast and in time to avert emergencies," said Eva Jarawan, Health Manager for the World Bank’s Africa Region. "Innovative financial mechanisms like the Pledge Guarantee can make a real difference in delivering anti-malaria bed nets and other vital health supplies quickly and efficiently to communities which need them the most."