GAVI Alliance welcomes new funding to strengthen health systems

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Innovative health financing taskforce set up by world leaders announces financial measures worth US$5.3 billion

Geneva, 23 September 2009 -The GAVI Alliance today welcomed a series of new financing measures for global health worth up to US$5.3 billion that will save the lives of millions of women and children in developing countries.

The innovative financing proposals include US$ 1 billion to expand the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) and enable substantial new investments in health systems.

This new US$ 1 billion commitment is an exciting acknowledgment of GAVI's place at the forefront of cutting-edge action in innovative financing, immunisation and global health.

Julian Lob-Levyt, GAVI CEO

Package

The package of new measures were announced at the United Nations in New York today at a meeting co-chaired by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and World Bank President Robert Zoellick.

The two leaders highlighted the need for stronger, better financed health systems, and better access to health services, including immunisation, for women and children.  

Taskforce

Today's announcement marks the culmination of 12 months work by the Taskforce on Innovative International Financing for Health Systems launched by Brown and Zoellick last year. GAVI played a key role in the taskforce.

The additional contributions announced today by the UK, Norway and Australia follow the Netherlands' recent IFFIm commitment and represent a powerful endorsement of IFFIm's success.

GAVI is widely recognised as having played a leading role in nurturing innovative financing tools such as IFFIm and the Advance Market Commitment. Since its launch in 2006, IFFIm has harnessed the power of the capital markets to raise more than US$ 2.3 billion dollars for GAVI's immunisation and health system strengthening programmes.

Health systems support

This year, GAVI has been working intensively with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the World Bank, with facilitation from WHO, to develop a joint platform for health systems support. 

This harmonised platform will help countries access money more simply and spend it more effectively. It will help remove barriers to immunisation and other life-saving services. 

Welcome

Welcoming the news, GAVI CEO Julian Lob-Levyt thanked the UK, Norway and Australia for their contributions to the expanded IFFIm. He said the new IFFIm donations built on the earlier investments of UK and Norway and the other IFFIm donors: France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, South Africa and the Netherlands. 

"This new US$ 1 billion commitment is an exciting acknowledgment of GAVI's place at the forefront of cutting-edge action in innovative financing, immunisation and global health," he said.

"A strengthened IFFIm can empower the step change the world needs if we are to reach the health MDGs. The power of the IFFIm mechanism is that it can deliver significant funds and deliver them quickly."

Vaccines

Dr Lob-Levyt also noted that GAVI will still require additional support to fund vaccines.

"While GAVI has sufficient funds to fulfil its current commitments, demand is increasing for new and improved life-saving vaccines, particularly against pneumococcal disease and rotavirus. GAVI will continue to seek more funding in order to fulfil this demand," he added.

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