UN Secretary-General praises GAVI’s role in creating innovative ways to pay for health programmes

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has praises the work of the GAVI Alliance and International Finance Facility for Immunisation

Doha, 29 November 2008 - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has praised the work of the GAVI Alliance and International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) for delivering on a promise to provide reliable financing for children's vaccination.

Speaking to at a packed side event at the UN Conference on Financing for Development in Doha, Qatar, Mr Ban reflected on the significant progress in innovative financing for development since the last such global gathering at Monterrey in Mexico in 2002.

GAVI is delivering on its promise of providing reliable, long-term and stable funding for children's vaccination.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon

"The International Finance Facility for Immunisation has been raising funds for programmes through the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation. GAVI is delivering on its promise of providing reliable, long-term and stable funding for children's vaccination," Mr Ban said.

He also noted "the promise" of GAVI's other innovative financing model, the Advance Market Commitment pilot for pneumococcal disease.

Mr Ban was the opening speaker at the side event entitled "Innovative financing to serve development: from Monterrey to Doha, towards a scaling-up". The event was held on the first day of the UN meeting and was organised, with help from GAVI, by Philippe Douste-Blazy, the UN S-G's special adviser on innovative financing.

More than 200 global experts on development and several journalists filled the room to listen to speakers that included four government ministers, and the Chair of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee, Eckhard Deutscher.

Guest speaker Alan Gillespie, chair of the IFFIm Board, told the meeting that IFFIm is "a true public-private partnership bringing together public backing and private sources of funding."

IFFIm

Mr Gillespie illustrated the power of long-term donor commitments to leverage funds from the capital markets, noting that although only US$ 230 million had been received to date from donor governments, IFFIm has already raised more than US$ 1.2 billion for GAVI's immunisation and health programmes.

"IFFIm has provided development funds on a scale and of a duration never before seen in the history of international development," he said. "Commitments of up to twenty 20 years have been made to IFFIm by the seven government donors."

Dr Gillespie described the IFFIm as having a "double sweet spot". "IFFIm offers bonds to the public to save and secure their investments and, at the same time, they know that the dollars will flow right through to the frontier of health development," he said.

AMC

Italy's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Vincenzo Scotti, outlined the development of the first AMC pilot and explained how the innovative mechanism would help save millions of lives. "We are very close to entering the operational phase and expect to formally launch the AMC pilot for pneumococcal disease in the first quarter of next year," Mr Scotti said.

He said the AMC pilot had already achieved impressive results by increasing pressure to develop vaccines that would otherwise be considered unprofitable.

"The AMC pilot had opened new frontiers in the fight against poverty and disease," he said.

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