Organon teams up with bank to fund women's health initiatives in Latin America, the Caribbean

Organon is partnering to deliver its health equity strategy. One year after committing to providing 100 million girls and women with affordable access to contraception, the Merck & Co. spinoff has teamed up with a development bank to fund initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean.

New Jersey-based Organon, which specializes in women’s health, set itself goals for expanding access to healthcare last summer in its first environmental, social and governance report (PDF). The drugmaker vowed to try to prevent an estimated 120 million unintended pregnancies and provide 100 million girls and women in low- and middle-income countries with affordable access to contraception by 2030.

Now, Organon has formed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with CAF – Development Bank of Latin America that could contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and help it to hit its own targets. 

Under the terms of the MOU, the newly minted partners plan to collaborate on the “design, structure and implementation of sustainable programs that promote and improve equity, health and autonomy of girls and women in Latin America and the Caribbean.” The goal is to “advance progress in women’s health by mobilizing capital towards initiatives that might not otherwise receive adequate support.”

Organon highlighted increasing access to sexual and reproductive health education and services as areas that may benefit from additional funding. The MOU reflects Organon’s belief in results-based financing, an approach that links development funding to pre-agreed and verified results. Sergio Diaz-Granados, executive president of CAF, discussed what the funding could achieve.

“This agreement with Organon will help us to join forces in order to break with the structural barriers that keep limiting the access of women to health, financial and non-financial services,” Diaz-Granados said in a statement.

Organon framed the CAF agreement as part of a model for convening governments and development banks to improve the lives of women. Using data, the drugmaker is trying to show governments how an investment in health benefits their people and economies. Programs are running in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Panama, Thailand, Kenya and South Africa.