By Christian Ksoll

According to the WHO, as many as half of all vaccines produced worldwide fail to make it into the arms of their intended recipients. While this is a troubling problem, it reflects the complex task of transporting vaccines from the factory all the way to the site of injection.

In some cases, vaccine shipments require multiple flights, land journeys through difficult terrain or even drone transportation. Each segment of the journey, including any intermediate storage period, must be properly managed in order to maintain the timeframe and temperature range specific to the requirements of a particular vaccine.

By Lisa Kaestner & Paula Tavares

Woman works in a small shop. Ghana. Photo: © Arne Hoel/The World Bank

Despite decades of hard-fought progress towards the goal of gender equality, women today still enjoy only about three quarters of the rights afforded to men and often earn less than men for the same work.

These global findings, taken from the World Bank’s Women Business and the Law Report 2021, are sobering (if not entirely surprising) and come during a global pandemic that has stalled — or even reversed — the march towards equality in many countries.

The recently published report, the seventh in a series of annual studies measuring the laws and regulations…

By Carlo Maria Rossotto

Entrepreneurs co-working at Impact Hub in Accra. © Tom Saater/International Finance Corporation

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of resilient, high-speed internet infrastructure. According to a recent International Telecommunication Union (ITU) report, the world after COVID has witnessed a staggering 80% increase of PC uploads to cloud computing platforms since the start of the pandemic. Videoconferencing applications in particular are booming.

We witness this every day. Every day, hundreds of millions of professionals log in to similar enterprise desktop applications. At the same time, millions of children around the world engage in virtual learning using the same technology.

S&P Global Market Intelligence estimates that Zoom’s use increased…

By Alison Buckholtz
Additional reporting contributed by Savani Jayasooriya

A driver navigates the streets of New Delhi with a cold chain pharmaceutical delivery from 1mg. Photo: Aditya Kapoor/JDot

As the COVID-19 vaccine cavalry readies itself for deployment, Delhi-based health tech entrepreneur Prashant Tandon is preparing for battle. Fighting the pandemic, he believes, depends on the organization, coordination, and delivery of an arsenal of health-related services and products. Getting the logistics right is critical not only to public health, he says — it’s a chance to prove that partnerships across industries, the private sector and government produce results for everyone.

When the virus first reached India and the government imposed a strict lockdown, Tandon’s company, the digital health platform 1mg

This article was originally published in The Strait Times on December 16th 2020

Economic crises have a tendency to morph. After a crisis gets under way, its epicentre can shift and it can turn contagious in unpredictable ways, impacting areas previously presumed relatively safe.

For example, what starts as a domestic crisis can take on regional dimensions, affecting even healthy economies, as we saw in Asia in 1997, or go global, as happened after the United States subprime mortgage crisis of 2007–2008. Crises can also spread quickly from one sector to another and then engulf entire economies. …

In the face of adversity posed by the constantly evolving challenge of COVID-19, 2020 tested our collective resilience. IFC rose to this challenge and beyond in Asia and the Pacific.

As we wrap up an extraordinary year, we look back at creating an engaged private sector. Here’s our round up of the top 10 reads from the region.

A Tailored Solution to Support Small Business in Mongolia

Thousands of small enterprise owners like Bulgan Lkhagvatsend can access tailored solutions to sustain their operations in Mongolia through IFC’s innovative tugrik-currency financing to Transcapital.

A New Financial Lifeline for Tongans

‘Ave Pa’anga Pau, a digital cashless voucher developed by Tonga Development Bank and IFC is helping Tongans…

Six Things to Know About Green Bonds

By Denise Odaro

IFC Treasury rang the bell at the Luxembourg Stock Exchange in celebration of the tenth year anniversary of IFC’s Green Bond Program

Financial markets are seeing green these days, in more ways than one. Hardly any finance or technology conversations are being had without climate change featured in some manner. In this blog post, I have summarized the salient points on one of the most talked-about market products — green bonds.

What are green bonds?

A green bond, according to the Green Bond Principles (GBP), is any bond instrument that exclusively finances projects that contribute to environmental objectives. The GBP is a framework developed in 2014 by a group of banks, bond…

By Alison Buckholtz
With additional reporting by Anurika Azubuike, Moussoukoro Diop, and Devon Maylie

Kobo360 driver Rashidi Foliu on a delivery job in Lagos. Technology from e-logistics companies like Kobo360 is key to unlocking intra-regional trade in Africa. Photo by Tom Saater/IFC

In the middle of the night, when Nigeria’s roads are dark and the late hour offers freedom from his constantly-chiming phone, Alli Jemil, a 34-year-old long-haul truck driver, feels the stress of the day lift.

“It’s so peaceful,” he said. “It’s the best time to be in my truck.”

He didn’t always feel that way. For many years, driving through Nigeria past sunset worried him because a flat tire or breakdown left him stranded until morning, when he could flag down a rescue crew. Late stretches…

By Henriette Kolb and William Sonneborn

Few industries have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic more than the transport industry. Both the public and private sector, including ride-hailing, are looking for solutions that will ensure a sustainable future. To ensure a resilient recovery from the pandemic and the opportunity to thrive, it is essential for companies not only to create safe travel options, but also to attract customers who haven’t previously used tech-based transport.

A new International Finance Corporation (IFC) study conducted with the Sri Lankan ride-hailing company, PickMe, and IFC’s development partner, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and…

By Femi Akinrebiyo

Global Manager, Upstream — Manufacturing, Agribusiness & Services at IFC

Image courtesy of Imperial

COVID-19 is placing increased pressure on already weak healthcare systems around the world, making poorer communities even more vulnerable. The private sector is stepping up to address this challenge with innovative solutions.

One example of this is South African-listed, integrated market access and logistics solution provider, Imperial. In high density, low-income areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, access to quality healthcare is limited. Residents often have to travel long distances to get basic screening for COVID-19 and for other health services. …


IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets.

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