Catalyzing Sustainable Global Immunization Programs
August 31, 2015
Earlier this summer, the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, took several steps to bolster the sustainability of the immunization programs it supports in the world’s 49 lowest-income countries. One important Board action was to refine the process by which countries that have been receiving Gavi assistance are weaned from international support and increase their allocation of domestic resources to fund immunization programs.
There is a lot riding on the success of Gavi’s transition program. In January 2015 Gavi underwent a historic and successful replenishment, securing pledges of US$7.54 billion for the 2016–2020 period, with the promise that in Gavi’s subsequent phase (2021–2025), the organization’s financial requirements will likely decrease, as more countries are transitioned from support. Donor countries are assured that the proportion of Gavi program expenses they fund is going down and are anxious to see implementing countries allocate even greater domestic resources to immunization programs. The new Global Financing Facility (GFF), along with enhanced bilateral support for strengthening the capacity of lower- and lower-middle-income countries to mobilize domestic resources for purchasing and distributing vaccines, may offer additional help for countries soon to enter the Gavi transition period.