Political risk insurance from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic) is to support the establishment of a much-needed pharmaceutical medicines production facility in Afghanistan.

Opic is providing up to US$556,000 in insurance to National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, a subsidiary of American International Group (AIG), in support of a political risk insurance policy issued to the Business Humanitarian Forum (BHF), a Swiss-based non-governmental organisation.

The policy insures the European Generic Medicines Association’s (EGA) donation of medical equipment to an Afghan doctor who is establishing a pharmaceuticals manufacturing company to be called Baz International Pharmaceutical Company (BIPC).

The equipment includes compressors, and grinding and measuring machines to produce tablets for analgesics, antibiotics, and medicine for tuberculosis, as well as machinery to insure quality control of the produced medicines.

Establishment of the facility is the result of a three-year partnership between the Business Humanitarian Forum and EGA, the official representative body of the European generic pharmaceutical industry. Other partners in the project are the Deutsche Post World Net (DPWN)/ DHL, which provided financial support and logistical assistance for the transportation of the equipment to Kabul, the German Investment and Development Corporation (DEG), and the United Nations Development Programme Afghanistan.

The BHF, DPWN/ DHL and EGA will build, equip, and train staff for the production facility, which will dispense and package generic medicines, thereby improving the badly-needed quality and access to essential medicine for Afghan citizens. The plant will employ between 40 and 60 people.