Statement by Julian Lob-Levyt at the Conference on Innovative Financing for Development

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Conference on Innovative Financing for Development

Paris, 2 March 2006 - GAVI congratulates France and the UK for their years of work invested in the search for creative new ways to pay for the measures that will be needed to meet the Millennium Development Goals. GAVI takes particular note of their decision to support an initiative that will save the lives of millions of the world's poorest children through the use of vaccines and the development of health systems.

The Paris Conference on Innovative Development Financing Mechanisms, which took place from February 28 to March 1 under the direction of President Chirac, demonstrates clearly that some governments have now made significant advances in fulfilling their pledge to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

GAVI reminds all concerned that, if 2005 was the year for making commitments, 2006 has to be the year during which the promises are fulfilled.

With the support of France, announced in detail on February 28th, and Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Italy and Spain, we are preparing to launch the International Finance Facility for Immunization (IFFIm). This first-ever mechanism for using capital markets to obtain development funds is expected to raise US$4 billion and to prevent 5 million child deaths between 2005-2015, and more than 5 million future deaths among adults.

During the conference in Paris, the governments of France and the UK also announced the terms of an agreement that will move forward the development of the International Finance Facility for Immunization.

They will participate as well in a new French initiative that will use taxes on airline ticket sales to provide universal access to drugs against AIDS through 2010. France's launch of the Air Solidarity Contribution initiative in July will in the future raise funds to purchase drugs needed to fight pandemics, such as AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, which are crippling poor countries.

This sense that complex problems require creative solutions is also behind a second initiative that holds great promise. Under an AMC (Advanced Market Commitment), donors promise to help finance the purchase of vaccines if and when they are developed and if countries ask for them. AMCs will generate the necessary funds to accelerate the research and production of urgently needed vaccines. GAVI and the World Bank will give their recommendations on the implementation of such a mechanism at the next G7 Meeting in April.

France is now demonstrating, through both word and deed, that it is ready to act to move beyond traditional forms of development assistance to fight global poverty.

The commitments made by the governments of France, Brazil and the United Kingdom and the other countries that have decided to support innovative financing mechanisms are an embodiment of this new spirit. They demonstrate that governments, having pledged through the Millennium Development Goals to dramatically reduce poverty in poor countries by 2015, are now concentrating on the practical steps required to fulfill this promise.

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