At its latest Board meeting, DFC approved an innovative project that will help Parsyl of Denver, Colorado provide cost-effective insurance covering the transport and warehousing of vaccines, personal protective equipment, and other health products. The financing, which was completed through DFC’s Mission Transaction Unit (MTU) and is expected to be signed in early 2021, will help ensure that vaccines and other essential healthcare products are delivered securely to some of the world’s poorest and most remote communities.

Maryam Khosharay, Deputy Vice President for the Office of Development Credit, heads DFC’s MTU, formerly the Development Credit Authority at USAID, which was incorporated into DFC through the BUILD Act.

Describe the work of MTU
MTU typically works with USAID missions around the world to identify challenges and gaps in developing country markets and underwrite guaranties and loans to encourage local banks and financial institutions to lend to projects that will have a significant development impact.

How does the network of USAID missions support DFC’s work to advance development?
Having staff on the ground in developing countries and able to work with local banks and financial institutions on a day-to-day basis better enables us to understand the market gaps and imperfections that prevents private sector engagement. By providing risk mitigation tools, MTU encourages lenders to provide financing to important projects that will promote development.

What are some of the hurdles of delivering vaccines in developing countries?
It is critical to ensure that developing countries have access to vaccines, especially where supply chains are weak or nonexistent. This loan to the Parsyl Syndicate will help address these insurance needs by facilitating the extension of cost-effective insurance policies that will ultimately lead to the increase of insured cargoes in new geographies, including hard-to-reach, last-mile locations.

How did the Parsyl deal come together and how will it advance the COVID-19 response?
Our conversation with Parsyl initially focused on a risk sharing structure in response to the general need to improve supply chains. Around that time, COVID appeared and created a more urgent need to develop a solution that would support the complex transport and delivery of global health products, such as cold-chain medical supplies like vaccinations, including the COVID-19 vaccine upon its availability for distribution. MTU was excited to support this deal through its transactional background and expertise.