Global Health, Development and Business Leaders Announce New Innovative Financing Partnership to Deliver Essential Health

  Global Health, Development and Business Leaders Announce New Innovative
  Financing Partnership to Deliver Essential Health Supplies More Quickly and

  A New 5-year Guarantee Has the Potential to Unlock Immense Private Sector
               Financing, Accelerating Efforts to Achieve MDGs

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- May 17, 2013

Today, leading global health and development experts from the public and
private sectors are joining forces at the 2013 GBCHealth Conference to
announce a new partnership that will leverage private sector funding to speed
up delivery and access to life-saving health supplies, such as contraceptives,
bed nets, and medicines to those in need. Through Pledge Guarantee for Health
(PGH), this new financing mechanism will help increase the impact of each
dollar of donor funding and ultimately improve healthcare access and outcomes
for the millions who are helped by foreign aid.

The traditional sequence and timing of aid disbursement can lead to delays in
supply and commodity procurement. PGH, developed and incubated by the United
Nations Foundation, facilitates innovative financing that expedites the
disbursement of donor funds, making global health supplies more accessible and
more affordable for developing countries.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Swedish
International Agency for Development Cooperation (SIDA) are scaling up PGH
with a 5-year partial guarantee to help speed up the procurement of essential
medicines and health supplies by governments and civil society partners. In
collaboration with commercial banking partners, this partial guarantee enables
PGH to access $100 million in credit that, over 5 years, can mobilize a
tremendous value of lending capacity.

Recognizing the potential for increased access and affordability that
accelerated financing can provide, private sector suppliers such as Merck &
Co., Inc., known as MSD outside the U.S. and Canada, and Vestergaard Frandsen
have stepped up to provide up-front price discounts to aid recipients who
utilize PGH to purchase their life-saving health supplies.

With the support of leading multilateral donor organizations such as the
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, this cross-sector collaboration
can help boost the impact of donor aid and accelerate progress towards key
health Millennium Development Goals and improve the lives of mothers,
children, and families globally.

A financial tool developed by the United Nations Foundation, PGH works to
streamline the procurement of life-saving health supplies. By facilitating
short-term loans to developing country recipients, this innovative financing
partnership enables recipient countries to access higher quality and more
effective methods of health supplies at no additional cost. Currently, due to
extensive lag time between the donors and recipients, aid disbursements can
take up to 14 months. By providing funding up front, PGH shaves months off of
the commitment-to-disbursement timeline.

Quotes from key principals

Dr. Raj Shah, Administrator, USAID: “This announcement builds on our efforts
to partner with the private sector to help end preventable child death within
a generation. USAID’s partnership with the Pledge Guarantee for Health will
help make this promise a reality by ensuring that people around the
world—especially mothers and their children—have access to life-saving
vaccines, bed nets, and other supplies that are delivered more quickly,
cheaply, and broadly than ever before.

“The PGH guarantee, facilitated through USAID’s Development Credit Authority,
will guarantee 50 percent of any loan that commercial banks issue to PGH over
the next five years. This will allow commercial lenders to get comfortable
with this unique structure and eventually continue lending to PGH after the
guarantee expires. Through this new approach, we can cut inefficiency even
further and better maximize the impact and reach of each dollar we invest.”

Dr. Anders Nordström, Ambassador for Global Health, Swedish Ministry of
Foreign Affairs: “We all have to think creatively and collaboratively, through
partnerships like PGH, to bring stakeholders together and focus on delivering
more donor value for money.”

Dr. Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS,
Tuberculosis and Malaria: “The Global Fund has undergone a number of
enhancements in our process and we are joining efforts with partners like
Pledge Guarantee for Health to not only accelerate delivery of essential
health commodities, but also to increase value for money.”

Ms. Kathy Calvin, President & CEO, United Nations Foundation: “Pledge
Guarantee for Health works because it delivers aid faster, saving millions of
lives. While the financial mechanisms may be complex, the goal of PGH is
simple: to quickly and effectively reduce deaths from easily preventable

Mr. Adam Schechter, President of Global Human Health, Merck & Co., Inc.: “By
joining in this partnership with PGH, our company will help to provide
developing countries and local health workers with improved faster access to
our life-saving medicines and vaccines. This aligns with our overarching goal
to partner with governments to develop sustainable programs and efforts to
increase access to health care.”

Mr. Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen, CEO, Vestergaard Frandsen: “Through this
valuable partnership with PGH, we can help save more lives and prevent
unnecessary illness among people living in developing countries, who will
receive our anti-malaria bed nets quickly and efficiently.”

Mr. Aron Betru, Managing Director, PGH: “Building off the success of PGH’s
proof-of-concept transactions in Sub-Saharan Africa with the help of our
guarantor, donor, supplier and banking partners, we are ready to scale up and
move on a number of transactions in contraceptives, vaccines, anti-retrovirals
and malaria bed nets. Leveraging innovative financing, we hope to help
programs achieve more impact with each deal, helping every donor dollar reach
the end-user faster and with more value.”

About Pledge Guarantee for Health

Pledge Guarantee for Health is an innovative financing partnership designed to
increase the availability and predictability of funding from international
donors for health commodities. Through a 5-year partial guarantee from the
governments of the United States and Sweden, PGH is able to leverage $100
million in credit from commercial banking partners which, in turn, extend
short term credit to traditional donor aid recipients. Recipients are
empowered to use donor committed funding in advance of disbursement, resulting
in increased buying power, greater value, accelerated procurement and
delivery, and, ultimately, more lives saved.

About US Agency for International Development

The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development,
have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for over 50

USAID’s Development Credit Authority works with investors, local financial
institutions, and development organizations to design strategic risk-sharing
agreements, known as credit guarantees, that unlock financing from banks for
entrepreneurs in the developing world. Through these loan guarantees, DCA has
leveraged $2.7 billion in financing from local lenders for infrastructure
projects, small, and medium sized businesses. These loans have spurred untold
economic growth over the last 13 years in 70 countries. For more information,
please visit

About Swedish SIDA

Sida is a government agency working on behalf of the Swedish parliament and
government, with the mission to reduce poverty in the world. Through our work
and in cooperation with others, we contribute to implementing Sweden’s Policy
for Global Development (PGU). We work in order to implement the Swedish
development policy that will enable poor people to improve their lives.
Another part of our mission is conducting reform cooperation with Eastern
Europe, which is financed through a specific appropriation. The third part of
our assignment is to distribute humanitarian aid to people in need of
assistance. We carry out enhanced development cooperation with a total of 33
countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Our selection of
cooperation countries are based on political decisions made by the Swedish

About The Global Fund

The Global Fund is an innovative financing institution that provides funding
to countries to support programs that prevent, treat and care for people with
HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS,
Tuberculosis and Malaria was created in 2002 to dramatically increase
resources for the fight against the three pandemics. It spurs partnerships
between government, civil society, the private sector and communities living
with the diseases, the most effective way to fight these deadly infectious
diseases. The Global Fund does not manage or implement programs on the ground,
relying instead on local experts. It works with partners to ensure that
funding serves the men, women and children affected by these diseases in the
most effective way.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

Today's Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, N.J. USA, known as MSD outside
the United States and Canada, is a global healthcare leader working to help
the world be well. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic
therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with
customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health
solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to
healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more
information, visit

About Vestergaard Frandsen

Vestergaard Frandsen is a global public health company that innovates
game-changing solutions to improve the lives of disadvantaged people
worldwide. We operate according to a Humanitarian Entrepreneurship business
model and aim to support the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Our
award-winning LifeStraw^® water filters combat diarrheal diseases, and over a
half billion of our best-selling PermaNet^® bed nets have contributed to
reducing malaria deaths by one third since 2000. Other company solutions
target neglected tropical diseases, increasing HIV testing, reducing hunger
and malnutrition, and mitigating climate change.


Merck & Co., Inc.
Lainie Keller, 908-423-4187
Pledge Guarantee for Health:
Paige Robson, +1-952-836-5202
UN Foundation:
Becky Davis, +1-202-862-6305
US Agency for International Development:, +1-202-712-4320
Swedish SIDA:
Roger Garman, +46-70-254-8752
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria:
Seth Faison, +41-79-788-1163,
Vestergaard Frandsen:
Meryl Rader, +1-908-528-3826
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