GAVI Alliance programme raises US$ 38 million for child immunisation

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Gifts from Comic Relief, CIFF and others matched by British Government and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Andrew Mitchell - UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID)

UK International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell pictured at today's Matching Fund announcement at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Credit: Tanja Demarmels/GAVI/2012

Davos, Switzerland 26 January 2012 – The GAVI Alliance will receive at least US$ 4.5 million for child immunisation from two new partners to its unique GAVI Matching Fund – an amount that will be matched by the British Government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, bringing the total to US$ 9 million.

Coupled with gifts and matches from other supporters, the GAVI Matching Fund has secured at least US$ 38 million in pledges in recent months from six public-private partners, including those announced today at the World Economic Forum annual meeting:

We cannot do this alone. World leaders and private enterprise must work hand-in-hand if we are to fight ill-health and disease across the developing world.

Secretary Andrew Mitchell, DFID

GAVI Matching Fund

Under the GAVI Matching Fund, the British Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) has pledged to match up to £50 million donated by private-sector UK organisations, their employees and customers. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is making a similar match of up to US$ 50 million in pledges by other private sector organisations.

British International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell commended the gifts, noting that “the generous support from Comic Relief and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation will help us deliver real results for the poorest against killer diseases which are easily prevented. We cannot do this alone. World leaders and private enterprise must work hand-in-hand if we are to fight ill-health and disease across the developing world. Firms and foundations gathered at the World Economic Forum should take this chance to contribute to this vital programme to deliver real, tangible results.”

Comic Relief

“We are delighted to welcome Comic Relief and CIFF,” adds GAVI Alliance Board Chair Dagfinn Høybråten. “Their generous investments will help us fulfill our mission to save children’s lives and protect people’s health through immunisation in developing countries. On behalf of the children we will vaccinate with these resources, our thanks go out to these thoughtful partners.”

Comic Relief aims to raise at least £2 million (about US$ 3 million) toward children’s immunisation from this year’s Sport Relief campaign. This contribution will be matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, making the total donation £4 million (about US$ 6 million).

Sport Relief is one of the UK’s biggest fundraising events – with planned activities in the UK on 23-25 March – attracting major stars to call attention to critical needs, such as immunisation.

“The crucial role of immunisation in saving children’s lives in the world’s poorest countries is one of the key themes in this year’s Sport Relief campaign,” says Comic Relief CEO Kevin Cahill. “We’re delighted to be partnering with GAVI and, thanks to the generosity of the British public, hope to raise a significant amount as well as raise awareness of this important issue.”

CIFF

CIFF has pledged US$ 1.5 million toward immunisation through the GAVI Matching Fund, which will be matched by DFID. The funds will be directed toward the purchase of pneumococcal vaccine through GAVI’s Advance Market Commitment (AMC), an innovative approach to public health that stimulates development and manufacture of the vaccine for developing countries through purchase and price guarantees.

“Pneumococcal disease is the most prevalent cause of pneumonia and the leading vaccine-preventable killer of children younger than five,” says CIFF President & CEO Jamie Cooper-Hohn. “The GAVI Matching Fund challenge put forward by DFID and the Gates Foundation makes this an especially compelling investment for CIFF, and we’re excited to participate.”

IFFIm

An anonymous private foundation also hopes to make use of a GAVI innovative finance vehicle by investing in the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm), an independent organisation that raises money for GAVI through the issuance of bonds backed by sovereign government pledges.

The anonymous foundation has discussed an investment in IFFIm bonds whereby it could donate the interest generated to GAVI through the Matching Fund. Under such an arrangement, the coupon (interest) has the potential to exceed US$ 5 million, which would be matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The pledges from Comic Relief and CIFF bring the number of GAVI Matching Fund partners to six since its launch in June 2011, including the Absolute Return for Kids (ARK) foundation, mining company Anglo American plc, investment bank J.P. Morgan, and the foundation for Spanish savings bank “la Caixa.” 

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