GAVI Pledging Meeting Brings Good News
June 14, 2011
Fellow, Global Health Policy Center
Public and private donors gathering in London at GAVI’s first pledging conference committed $4.3b to immunize a further 250 million children by 2015. These commitments surpassed the $3.7 billion target and will fund approved requests and expand vaccine delivery for the period of 2011-2015. Securing ample new funds became even more urgent when GAVI received a record 50 requests from GAVI-eligible countries in the latest application round, doubling the 2007 record of 27 applications for assistance to introduce new or underused vaccines.
Above chart from: www.gavialliance.org
Despite difficult budget battles in Washington and uncertainty over future foreign assistance levels, the United States made its first ever multi-year pledge of $450 million over three years. This commitment is in line with the Obama administration’s priorities in advancing maternal, neonatal and child health, along with greater malaria control, and in investing in cost-effective vaccines. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s $1 billion pledge was not unexpected, but interestingly also included the provision that $250 million is to be used to match any other donor pledges made after June 13, 2011. The UK’s matching initiative motivated donations from two new donors; corporate donor Anglo American Plc. and the UK charity Absolute Return for Kids (ARK) which each pledged $3 million. Also of note were new pledges from Brazil and Japan. Brazil’s $12 million pledge adds a major new donor from an emerging economy. Japan’s $9 million commitment is also notable given the dire budgetary situation in Japan following the earthquake, tsunami and reactor crises that began on 3/11.
Surpassing the $3.7 million target means that GAVI can fund all approved applications and more quickly deliver vaccines to those in need. However, the alliance should continue to proactively raise funds, expand the donor base and raise recognition of their brand to ensure that GAVI can continue to evolve and meet ever-rising demand.