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Medical Credit Fund Receives OPIC Impact Award for Access to Finance

We are delighted to announce that Medical Credit Fund was presented with an 'Access to Finance' award as part of the OPIC inaugural Impact Awards.

  • Mar 11, 2014

We are delighted to announce that Medical Credit Fund was presented with an ‘Access to Finance’ award as part of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation’s (OPIC, the U.S. government’s development finance institution) inaugural Impact Awards. Managing director Monique Dolfing-Vogelenzang accepted the award on Medical Credit Fund’s behalf from Deputy Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget Beth Cobert at a ceremony held at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC on March 11, 2014. She was joined on stage by the president of the Calvert Foundation Jennifer Pryce and Deutsche Bank head of government affairs Francis Kelly. 

AMSTERDAM, March 11, 2014 – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has awarded the Amsterdam-based Medical Credit Fund one of its first-ever Impact Awards for financing health care in Africa.
In a ceremony held today at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., Medical Credit Fund received the OPIC Impact Award in the category Access to Finance for providing affordable loans and technical assistance for small and medium-sized healthcare providers in Africa. OPIC, the U.S. Government’s Development Finance Institution, has initiated the Impact Awards to recognize the work of its clients in advancing development impact around the world. “All OPIC-supported projects are worthy of recognition,” said Elizabeth Littlefield, president and CEO of OPIC. “But these first-ever Impact Awards give us a chance to shine a spotlight on those that have been truly exceptional in their contribution to development.”

Private clinics provide about 50% of all healthcare services in Africa and are a staple of health care to low and middle-income Africans. As many of these small and medium-sized enterprises do not qualify for traditional bank loans, they often struggle to maintain their facilities or to improve the quality of their services. The Medical Credit Fund addresses these issues with a two-pronged approach. Through business and quality training, clinics learn how to develop their business potential and how to improve the quality of their healthcare services. At the same time, access to capital allows them to purchase modern equipment, hire expert staff, make basic repairs or expand their facilities. By helping clinics establish a track record of borrowing and repaying their loans, Medical Credit Fund also prepares these clinics to independently qualify for larger bank loans.

In 2012, OPIC granted Medical Credit Fund a USD 5.4 million loan with a tenor of up to seven years to provide financing and technical assistance to small and medium-sized healthcare providers in Africa as part of a USD 10.9 million financing that included investments from the Calvert Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Soros Economic Development Fund, the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation and Dutch private investors. The Medical Credit Fund is financed by a unique blend of grants, equity and debt financing from both public and private parties, which are used for technical assistance (grants), first loss (equity grants) and debt financing (loans). Through this fund structure, Medical Credit Fund has been able to use public funds to leverage private investments, thereby increasing its developmental impact significantly. So far, the fund has disbursed over USD 4.3 million in small and medium-sized loans (with a repayment rate of 97.5%) to over 500 clinics in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria as it ramps up towards its ultimate goal of providing USD 70 million in financing to more than 2,500 clinics.

Monique Dolfing-Vogelenzang, managing director of Medical Credit Fund: “We are incredibly honored to have been recognized with this award. From the onset of the Medical Credit Fund and its initiator PharmAccess, our conviction has been that lowering risk through public-private partnerships is key when it comes to achieving inclusive health care in Africa. The fact that OPIC, as well as our other investors and donors, have put their faith in our approach has been an instrumental and empowering part of our journey. Empowering not only for our organization, but, most importantly, empowering for our partners in Africa, for the clinics that have become able to invest in their business and for the growing number of people who now benefit from better quality health care.”

The OPIC Impact Award winners were selected through a rigorous process including criteria of work in priority sectors or regions, innovation in overcoming obstacles, risk mitigation practice, quality of results and development impact. In all, OPIC presented awards in six categories: U.S. Small Business, Renewable Resources, Development Impact, Critical Infrastructure, Private Equity, and Access to Finance.

The Dutch government (through Dutch development bank FMO), USAID, G-20 SME Finance Challenge, AIDS fonds, and Dutch private donors were among the first supporters of the Medical Credit Fund. These parties provided funds to lower the financing risk of the loans. Upon hearing of the OPIC Award Lilianne Ploumen, the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, offered her congratulations: “The Medical Credit Fund’s success affirms that public funds and private capital can go hand in hand to improve access to quality health care for people in Africa. As a co-supporter of the Medical Credit Fund, we are very proud of their achievements in the past years. Through their unique capital structure, which has leveraged our ministry’s contribution many times over, the Medical Credit Fund is proving to be an innovative and effective example of sustainable development cooperation.”

Deputy Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget Beth Cobert presented the OPIC Impact Award to managing director Monique Dolfing-Vogelenzang, who was joined on stage by the president of the Calvert Foundation Jennifer Pryce and Deutsche Bank head of government affairs Francis Kelly.

Medical Credit Fund
The Medical Credit Fund is the first social financing fund that introduces a new approach in sustainable improvement of private health care in Africa. After winning the G20 SME Finance Challenge Award for our innovative financing model, the Medical Credit Fund closed its first round of investments in 2012. Participating investors are the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Soros Economic Development Fund, Calvert Foundation, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation and Dutch private investors. Our banking partners are K-REP Bank, Chase Bank Kenya, BancABC, National Microfinance Bank Tanzania, Bank of Africa Tanzania, UniBank Ghana, HFC Bank, FCMB and Diamond Bank. Our technical assistance partners are KMET, PSK, APHFTA, Hygeia Foundation, Marie Stopes International and Society for Family Health.

PharmAccess Group
The Medical Credit Fund is a member of the PharmAccess Group, a Dutch not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving access to quality health care for people in sub-Saharan Africa. The PharmAccess Group mobilizes public and private resources for the benefit of patients and doctors through clinical quality standards, loans for clinics, health insurance and impact research. We leverage donor contributions to increase trust in the health system, reduce risk and lower transaction costs, paving the way for private investments.

OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It catalyzes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy. Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 150 countries worldwide. To date, OPIC has supported more than $200 billion of investment in over 4,000 projects.