This section collates recent developments impacting the health sector in India.
As the COVID-19 pandemic began, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and its partners sought to leverage the expertise and innovations of India’s dynamic private sector to develop and scale responsive healthcare solutions. In 2020, USAID collaborated with IPE Global and stakeholders from the Indian government, academia, and the private sector to develop an innovative blended finance facility to combine public and philanthropic funds with commercial capital to create and scale market-based health solutions. Thus, the Sustainable Access to Markets and Resources for Innovative Delivery of Healthcare (SAMRIDH) initiative was created. In a short span of time, SAMRIDH has helped to scale 19 novel innovations that are expanding the reach of private healthcare, improving India’s healthcare infrastructure, and strengthening the supply chain in order to reach vulnerable populations.
SAMRIDH combines commercial capital with public and philanthropic funds to mitigate barriers to private investment in healthcare. The approach aims to drive greater resources towards market-based health solutions to improve access to affordable and quality healthcare services for India's most vulnerable.
To accelerate gains by this initiative, the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) at NITI Aayog and SAMRIDH Healthcare Blended Finance Facility have joined hands to support health enterprises and innovators with blended financing solutions. This collaboration envisions to unlock greater investment towards scaling up high impact and sustainable healthcare innovations targeting to improve access to affordable and quality healthcare for the vulnerable populations, in tier-2 and tier-3 cities, rural and tribal regions.
What is blended finance?
Blended finance is an approach towards financing where catalytic funding (e.g. grants and concessional capital) from public and philanthropic sources is utilized to mobilize additional private sector investment to realize social goals and outcomes. Blended finance is the strategic use of concessional capital and private capital in projects where the perceived risks are too high for private players to participate alone. By combining concessional and commercial capital, blended finance can achieve acceptable risk/return profiles for different types of financing partners, including private capital.
How does blended finance work?
Blended finance is a structuring approach that allows enterprises to invest alongside each other while achieving their different objectives: financial return, environmental/social impact, or a blend of both. Blended finance is therefore not a single instrument but rather a financial structure in which different investors with different investment priorities can participate. Blended Finance can be characterized by three main features:
What will the partnership achieve?
By deepening investments in high-impact ideas, the partnership would further accelerate India's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and future health emergencies leading to building a resilient and sustainable healthcare system for India.