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|Citi will act as financial advisor to COVAX Facility in deploying COVID-19 vaccines across the globe|
Citi announced that the firm has been selected by GaviVaccine Alliance to be the financial advisor for COVAX Facility, its global procurement mechanism for COVID-19 vaccines.
COVAX Facility is part of COVAX, a global multilateral initiative aimed at developing, manufacturing, and deploying COVID-19 vaccines on a fair and equitable basis. It is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and the World Health Organization (WHO) working in partnership with developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers, the UNICEF, the World Bank, civil society organisations and others.
Citi will provide Gavi with expert advice on structures to mitigate sovereign, credit, and operational risk as the COVAX Facility seeks to facilitate pooled procurement and equitable distribution of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines from multiple pharmaceutical manufacturers to all COVAX participating economies once they reach licensure.
“Citi considers this assignment to be a clear demonstration of who we are as a firm and it builds on the work we’re doing to help combat this crisis on many fronts,” said Jane Fraser, president of Citigroup and CEO of Global Consumer Banking. “Funding of vaccines is at the core of bringing this crisis to an end, and Citi is honored to contribute to this unprecedented effort. We are bringing top talent together from around the firm to support Gavi in achieving its global objectives.”
In its first phase and up until the end of 2021, the COVAX Facility aims to secure and deliver 2 billion doses of vaccines to be distributed to member countries’ populations. The facility currently counts over 180 sovereign government entities as participants.
In its role as advisor, Citi will advise and assist in finding risk mitigation and execution strategies in connection with the facility, including supporting the building of strategies to operationalise and maintain COVAX Facility.
“COVAX represents the best chance to provide people in all countries with rapid, fair, and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they become available. We are delighted to engage Citi, allowing the COVAX Facility to benefit from expert external advice to complement our in-house expertise, supporting our essential work mitigating risk and structuring the COVAX Facility to be as effective as possible,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO, Gavi.
Throughout the pandemic, Citi has worked closely with governments and the private sector to find liquidity alternatives and funding solutions in response to COVID-19. This has included large targeted development bank and NGO efforts for the pandemic, including COVID-19 emergency programmes by the World Bank, Africa Development Bank, the New Development Bank, and Gavi’s own International Finance Facility for Immunization (IFFIm), where Citi recently acted as joint bookrunner on its $500 million vaccine bond.
“We are pleased to partner with Citi on this landmark endeavour,” said Assietou Sylla Diouf, managing director of Finance and Operations, Gavi. “Never has such a facility been more critical given the crisis we are currently facing. Citi’s presence in over 160 countries and jurisdictions and its expertise will help to ensure the financial mechanics of COVAX Facility are best able to support COVAX’s ambitious goals of ending the acute phase of the pandemic by the end of 2021.”
Citi remains committed to supporting clients and community partners to help drive a positive socially and environmentally sustainable response to COVID-19. Citi and Citi Foundation have committed more than $100 million to date in support of COVID-19-related community relief efforts globally.