September 20, 2023


NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK – On the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is organizing a record number of meetings and events fostering public-private collaboration and highlighting the indispensable role of the private sector in achieving the UN’s global targets. As part of this effort, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released an in-depth white paper on how innovative financing can help meet Universal Health Coverage (UHC) targets by 2030.  

“The global community faces a monumental task in ensuring that Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) achieve their UHC goals by 2030, especially given a collective funding gap of $176 billion,” said Varnee Murugan, Executive Director of the Global Initiative on Health and the Economy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “However, the Chamber knows firsthand how the private sector remains underleveraged when it comes to the promise of innovative financing, which has been recognized by organizations like the OECD as a solution to bridge funding chasms. This critical white paper delves deep into the nature of innovative finance and how to overcome the challenges hindering its potential to close the UHC funding gap.” 

Erika Satterwhite, Head of Global Policy at Viatris, added, “Achieving the gains in access to healthcare that the world collectively aspires to will require new ways of thinking, partnering and acting. There is no one-size-fits-all solution; we must embrace our diversity – each stakeholder brings varied and valuable experience and expertise, and all are needed.” 

Led by the U.S. Chamber with support from Enlumen LLC, the report is informed by inputs from the leadership of key public and private stakeholders including Amazon, the Government of Kenya, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Organon, Pfizer, USAID, Viatris, WifOR, the World Bank, and the World Health Organization. The report offers actionable recommendations to overcome barriers to scaling innovative financing and explores how the private sector can be better leveraged in support of UHC. 

“Across the globe, gaps in women’s health often create challenges for women and economies to achieve their full potential. To shape a healthier, more equitable future, increased access opportunities under UHC are necessary,” said Michael Pergine, Head of Worldwide Government Affairs and Policy at Organon. “The action-oriented recommendations of the white paper will help to unlock innovative financing solutions that can make significant contributions to advancing the health of women and girls.” 

Key White Paper Recommendations for Policymakers: 

  1. Robust Engagement with Private Stakeholders: Initiate a standardized process from the outset of any innovative financing initiative. This includes establishing regular forums, transparently managing conflicts of interest, and identifying alignment areas. 
  1. Leverage Private Sector Expertise Beyond Finance: Policymakers should value core capabilities, such as insurance expertise or tech infrastructure, equally as financial contributions. 
  1. Engage with Consortia for Effective Private Sector Engagement: Work with business and industry associations to understand collective capabilities, ensure alignment, and minimize conflicts of interest. 
  1. Promote Data Transparency: Curate comprehensive data sets, in consultation with stakeholders, that cover aspects such as transaction costs, deal flow, and risks. 
  1. Standardize Success Metrics Globally: Establish a clear, global standard to capture the prosperity gains from smart health investments. 

Recommendations for the Private Sector:

  1. Define Industry-wide Guiding Principles: Create a collective vision for involvement in innovative finance. This includes expressing clear principles that align with public goals and expressing business needs. 
  1. Catalog and Showcase Assets: Clearly identify the various assets, beyond finance, that the private sector can offer to innovative finance initiatives. 
  1. Structured Approach for Industry Alignment: Establish a regular mechanism for dialogue, coordination, and cooperation at both the national and global levels. 

Over the course of UNGA from September 18 – 22, the U.S. Chamber is leading over 24 high-level conversations with top government representatives, including heads of state and government, from countries including Brazil, Nigeria, South Africa, and Türkiye.  

Learn more here about the Chamber’s role at the 78th UNGA session—the Chamber’s largest-ever presence at an UNGA.