AVPN and Philanthropic Leaders Launch USD 1 Million Pooled Fund to Improve Maternal, Newborn, Child Health and Nutrition in Southeast Asia

24 June 2022


Key Messages: 

  • Southeast Asia’s healthcare out-of-pocket expenditure is among the highest in the world.
  • USD 1 M has been raised for a Healthcare Pooled Fund to improve maternal, newborn, child health and nutrition outcomes in Southeast Asia, facilitated by AVPN— the world’s largest network of Social Investors active in Asia. 
  • The Healthcare Pooled Fund is made possible through the commitment
  • Leaders in Asia – Chevron, Johnson & Johnson Foundation, Quantedge Advancement Initiative, and Vitol Foundation. 

Bali, Indonesia – AVPN, the world’s largest network of Social Investors active in Asia, has announced the second round of the Healthcare Pooled Fund to strengthen primary healthcare in Southeast Asia. This USD 1 M collaborative pooled fund aims to support innovative solutions that improve Maternal, Newborn, Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN) outcomes in Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam. This fund is made possible through the commitment and support from four philanthropy leaders in Asia – Chevron, Johnson & Johnson Foundation, Quantedge Advancement Initiative, and Vitol Foundation. 

“Partnerships are core to our business. We work with local stakeholders, governments, and NGOs to bring additional expertise to complement our community programs, improving results and extending the impact we can have,” said Nigel Hearne, President, Chevron Eurasia Pacific Exploration and Production. “We are committed to help reduce poverty, drive economic and social opportunity, and prepare the workforce of the future in Asia-Pacific.” 

According to WHO, Southeast Asia’s healthcare out-of-pocket expenditure (% of Current Health Expenditure) is among the highest in the world. Ranging between 34.8% (Indonesia) to 75.9% (Myanmar), most people in the region spend more on healthcare compared to the world’s average of 18.01%. This burden has doubled as the Covid-19 pandemic has crippled the world’s healthcare system, particularly in Southeast Asia, negatively impacting essential care for MNCHN. This causes a malnutrition prevalence, with an estimated 1 in every 2 children in the region having at least one micronutrient deficiency. 

“Research has shown that the first 1000 days of a child’s life are crucial and can have significant implications on an individual’s economic and social potential. We are keen to support organisations that are doing outstanding work in MNCHN, to support vulnerable mothers and ensure that their children can have a healthy start in life.” said Tan Yan Ru, Vice-President of Programmes, Quantedge Advancement Initiative. 

The urgent need in MNCHN is clear. Intervention in this area will not only yield health outcomes of mothers, newborns, and children but also will address the inequality in the longer run. The second round of the AVPN Healthcare Pooled Fund will provide a healthy start and optimum development for the next generation, especially in vulnerable and underserved communities, and thus will also contribute to address inequality. 

“Every day, more than 800 women die from preventable complications related to pregnancy or childbirth around the world. An overwhelming number of these deaths occur in low- and lower-middle income economies where many women and girls have inadequate access to health services. As maternal and infant health is one of the strategic focus areas of our work at Johnson & Johnson Global Community Impact Asia Pacific, we are pleased to be part of the AVPN Healthcare Pooled Fund, which aims to improve quality and access to MNCHN services in Southeast Asia,” said Angeline Chin, Senior Director, Global Community Impact Asia Pacific, Johnson & Johnson. 

The AVPN Healthcare Pooled Fund on MNCHN is an instrumental and innovative pooled fund that strategically mobilises capital and unites partners to achieve systemic change in Southeast Asia’s MNCHN services sectors. AVPN saw an opportunity to connect similar philanthropic funders to consolidate their efforts and resources to create impact at scale whilst supporting grantees by providing a single application and reporting process.. 

“The flexibility that minimally restricted funding permits, enables effective and resourceful organisations to adapt their programmes and plan for growth and in turn serve the people they work with more efficiently.” said Sarah Jeffery, Head of Health, Vitol Foundation

The Fund will benefit non-profit organisations in Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam that are supporting the access to and delivery of MNCHN healthcare services in these countries. This includes improving the quality of MNCHN direct services, supporting the enabling environment for improved MNCHN services (e.g. supply chain, renovations, infection prevention control in the clinical environment), professional development of the MNCHN workforce, and strengthening health information systems relating to MNCHN. Any innovative non-profit organisations that are addressing those impact areas are welcome to apply by 25 July 2022 to receive potential grants from USD 100,000 to USD 300,000. 

“Through our first round of Philanthropic Pooled Fund, we have proven that collaborative philanthropy can bring impact at scale and address the key challenges in Southeast Asia’s healthcare services. Since we launched the first round Healthcare Pooled Fund in 2020, together with our member organisations and impact partners, we have supported 5,803 healthcare workers and 2,993 DDRM assistants in four markets within Southeast Asia,” Naina Subberwal Batra, CEO of AVPN, explained. 

“The second round of the Healthcare Pooled Fund will continue to strengthen the progress made in improving healthcare, with a particular focus on MNCHN, to create a more sustainable and systemic change and ensure a brighter, healthier future for the next generation.” 

Media Contacts

Jacqui Hocking
Communications Lead, AVPN
+65 8454 5945
[email protected]
Gaynor Reid
Press Relations, AVPN
+65 9108 3577
[email protected]

About AVPN

AVPN is the world’s largest network of Social Investors in Asia, with over 600+ diverse members across 33 markets. Their mission is to close the SDG gaps in Asia, by enabling their members to increase the flow of financial, human, and intellectual capital towards impact. Through sharing knowledge and innovating collaborations between policy makers, family offices, foundations and the private sector, AVPN improves the effectiveness of capital deployed; bringing to bear the local field needs, regional expertise, and policy insights. 

As organisers of the AVPN Global conference—the world’s largest networking event for Social Investors in Asia—their focus is to put Asian voices at the forefront of global discourse; with the output of the convening to be added to the main agenda of the upcoming G20. The event is also leveraged by the Social Investor ecosystem to form and announce new partnerships, innovate catalytic funding vehicles, and share best practices that ultimately move more capital towards impact.

About Chevron 

Chevron is one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies. As a company of problem solvers, we look to the future of energy with optimism. We provide affordable, reliable, and ever-cleaner energy to people in the Asia-Pacific region that is essential to achieving a more prosperous and sustainable world. We invest in community programs that help advance the UN’s sustainable development goals and strive to empower people to meet their full potential. 

About Johnson & Johnson Foundation 

The Johnson & Johnson Foundation is a registered charitable organisation that reflects the commitment of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies to keeping people well at every age and every stage of life by blending heart, science and ingenuity to profoundly change the trajectory of health for humanity. 

Funded solely by the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, the Foundation currently operates worldwide as Johnson & Johnson Foundation US (founded 1953) and Johnson & Johnson Foundation Scotland (founded 2007). These independent entities support both global and in-country partnerships and initiatives, opportunities for employee engagement, and disaster response activities managed by the Global Community Impact team at Johnson & Johnson. 

Remaining true to the principles of Our Credo, the Johnson & Johnson Foundation supports the best ideas, wherever they come from, to make basic, quality health services available to everyone and build a healthier and more equitable future for all. 

About Quantedge Advancement Initiative 

Quantedge Advancement Initiative funds international charitable and climate initiatives, and has been registered as a grant-making charity in Singapore since February 2021. 

Quantedge Advancement Initiative aims to deliver impactful solutions to environmental and social challenges around the world by focusing on areas where it can achieve the largest amount of impact per dollar disbursed. Its main focus areas are in global health and development, and climate change action across Asia and beyond. 

About Vitol Foundation 

The Foundation seeks to fund organisations and ideas that support children and families living in deprivation to escape the cycle of poverty and reach their potential in life. 

Our focus is on supporting solutions that improve quality of performance, promote greater inclusion, foster appropriate innovation and catalyse access to finance, all within the broader context of poverty. This means that the work we support is invariably in low, and low to middle income countries. We work with the private sector, national governments, public institutions and

local and international partners to reinforce and improve existing in-country systems. We place great emphasis on the working partnership between donors and implementers and encourage partnerships between both the public and private sectors across our 5 key programme sectors: Education, Health, Humanitarian, Livelihoods & Enterprise and WASH.

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