The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a US$150 million Private Sector Investment Finance (PSIF) Loan Agreement with Itaú Unibanco S.A., a Brazilian private financial institution, to finance Brazil’s healthcare sector and strengthen the COVID-19 response.
In Brazil, private hospitals accept low-income patients who use the Unified Health System or Sistema Único de Saúde (SUS), a free national universal health insurance system. However, private hospitals have been impacted by the decrease in outpatient and surgeries as a result of COVID-19. Brazil also imports about 50% of Brazil’s medical equipment and 30% of its pharmaceuticals, but supply has tightened due to COVID-19.
This project will support private hospitals facing COVID-19, enabling them to further conduct research and development and accept patients who come from SUS. The loans will also help provide diagnostic clinics with medical equipment and support pharmaceutical companies with production bases in Brazil.