USAID's Centre for Innovation and Impact and the UBS Optimus Foundation hosted an event about best practices around innovative finance in global health dubbed Unlocking Private Capital to Achieve Impact in Global health.

Paul Belknap Villgro Kenya COO joined co-panelists Phyllis Costanza from UBS, Amy Lin and Omer Imtiazuddin from USAID, Suprotik Basu from Blue Like an Orange Sustainable Capital Group, Amit Bouri from Global Impact Investing Network, Jordan Kassalow from VisionSpring and EYElliance, Tim Ring from TEAMFund and Robert Schneider from Lemelson Foundation to discuss how to blend financing from governments, philanthropists and private sector to create investable opportunities to improve health in the most challenging places.

The conversation was centered around the recently launched CII report: Unleashing Private Capital for Global Health Innovation: Innovator and Investor Support Opportunities.

It was noted that there is currently a $134 billion annual investment gap for the health SDGs in low and middle-income countries like Kenya. By 2030, the estimated gap is projected to be $371 billion. Successfully attracting private capital to support development goals through blended finance models will be crucial to fill the gap. “There are increasing opportunities in the global health sector to generate positive financial returns for investors. There is capital with a range of expectations for returns and social impact, and as referenced in the report, there is a large gap in the anticipated funding from traditional assistance as compared with the amount needed. There is also a great need for technical assistance throughout the innovation journey from initial conception to scale.” said Paul. Organizations like Villgro Kenya are well positioned to channel blended finance to de-risk large scale investments in health and shape the surrounding ecosystem to enable health entrepreneurs to build the necessary expertise and systems to grow while encouraging the private sector, and particularly, encouraging financial institutions to engage more actively.

Phyllis Costanza Head UBS Philanthropy and CEO UBS Optimus Foundation gave the following summary;

  • ·         There is currently a $134 billion annual investment gap for the health SDGs in low and middle income countries and by 2030, the estimated gap is projected to be $371 billion. Successfully attracting private capital to support development goals through blended finance models will be crucial to fill the gap.
  • ·         Recent estimates show that while increased financing of existing interventions such as vaccines, bednets, medical devices would significantly reduce mortality rates, we will still need considerably more innovation - and funding to support that innovation - if we are to successfully achieve our global health aspirations.
  • ·         Ideas include setting up a facility to de-risk large scale investments in health, shaping the surrounding ecosystem to enable health entrepreneurs to build the necessary expertise and systems to grow and encourage the private sector, and particularly, encouraging financial institutions to engage more actively.

To learn more visit UBS and CII