Newsletter 01 | 2015

Mother and child on Zanzibar. In the archipelago, more than 90 percent of newborns are now being immunised.

Special edition on the donor pledging conference for Gavi, the global Vaccine Alliance

Dear Readers,

Germany has kicked off the year of its G7 presidency with a resounding success. At the replenishment conference for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which took place in Berlin on 27 January this year, donors pledged a total of 7.539 billion US dollars. Health is going to be one of the key policy issues of Germany's G7 presidency, and the Gavi pledging conference was an important opening act.

In the run-up to the conference, Development Minister Gerd Müller made his view clear: "The international community – we – had committed to reducing child mortality by two thirds by 2015. We have barely managed to halve it. It is scandalous that every year 6.3 million children still die – half of them from diseases that could be treated easily or even prevented. We owe the children on this planet a major effort to close this gap. Immunisation programmes are not the only instrument available, but one of the most effective."

Some two hundred international guests – representing governments, foundations, the private sector and civil society – met in Berlin on 27 January to pledge their support for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

On the evening before the conference, Germany's Development Ministry invited delegates to attend a roundtable discussion, the motto of which was "United for a healthy future – strengthening health systems is key!". Guests from Germany and abroad joined Development Minister Gerd Müller and Health Minister Hermann Gröhe in order to discuss how best to ensure the provision of basic health care even in the poorest countries.

The participants all underlined that Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, had achieved some tremendous successes in the last few years. Nevertheless, there was still a long way to go before every child in the world had received the immunisation necessary to provide basic protection. Currently, one child out of five lacks basic immunisation.

You will find further information in this newsletter about the donor conference, about what Gavi does and about what the BMZ is doing on health matters.

Your BMZ Internet Editors

Immunisation programmes are one of the most effective, and one of the cheapest investments that we can make to improve the health of children living in the world's poorest countries.

Gerd Müller
German Development Minister

Expectations surpassed

Gavi replenishment conference in Berlin, from left to right: Seth Berkley (CEO of Gavi), Bill Gates (founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), Erna Solberg (Prime Minister of Norway), Jakaya Kikwete (President of Tanzania), German Chancellor Angela Merkel,  Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (President of Mali), German Federal Development Minister Gerd Müller, Federal Minister of Health Hermann Gröhe and Dagfinn Høybråten (Gavi Board Chair)

7.539 billion US dollars pledged in support of the Gavi Vaccine Alliance

The global Vaccine Alliance Gavi has reached and even surpassed the goal it set itself. At the pledging conference on 27 January this year, which was held in Berlin and co-hosted by Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, various governments, foundations and businesses pledged a total of 7.539 billion US dollars. The funds are to be used to immunise a further 300 million children in developing countries by the year 2020. At least 7.5 billion US dollars will be needed to achieve this, and it was the organisers' goal to mobilise this amount during the conference.

The start of Germany's G7 Presidency could not have been better, Müller said when commenting on the good results. "For the replenishment period from 2016 to 2020, there will be 600 million euros just from the increases in German support. These funds are also intended to support efforts to develop an Ebola vaccine and establish basic health care structures in the affected countries. We want to ensure that by 2030 no more children, anywhere in the world, will die from preventable diseases."

Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, acting as patron of the conference, announced that Germany would be launching an initiative for improved crisis management in the health sector. This is to include a pool of medical staff – "white helmets" – who can be mobilised rapidly.

The largest donor to the vaccine alliance for the period from 2016 to 2020 is the United Kingdom, having pledged an amount of 2.343 billion US dollars. The UK was followed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with 1.553 billion US dollars, and Norway, with 1.016 billion US dollars. The USA pledged to make available 800 million US dollars, France 524 million, Italy 437 million, Canada 451 million, and the European Commission 240 million US dollars.

Gavi is currently funding programmes in 73 partner countries, both through public donors and through funds provided by foundations, companies and private donors. Partner countries have to cover part of the costs involved themselves. At the same time, they receive support for strengthening their health systems. Being one of the world's largest buyers of vaccines worldwide, the Vaccine Alliance is in a position to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to secure affordable prices, thus helping to constantly lower the cost of vaccines. Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has helped provide immunisation to more than 500 million children.

The Gavi pledging conference was the first international conference hosted by Germany during its G7 presidency. The conference was hosted by the Federal German Government.


A girl in Pakistan is vaccinated.

On what is Gavi going to spend the pledged funds?

It is Gavi's aim to protect the lives of children, and improve people's health generally, by providing better access to vaccines in the developing countries. Gavi has already achieved a great deal. However, one out every five children worldwide still lacks access to basic immunisation. That is why the Vaccine Alliance needs 7.5 billion US dollars. This is the amount needed in order to meet demand in Gavi-supported countries for immunisation programmes in the period from 2016 to 2020. These funds will be used to immunise a further 300 million children in developing countries.

Reaching every child

A girl waits to be vaccinated against measles and rubella at its school in Kindi, a village near Moshi, Tanzania. "Immunisation isn't simply an inexpensive way to fight diseases and lower death rates. It is also an economic investment in families and the entire country," says Dr Seif Rashid, Tanzania's Minister of Health.

Examples from Tanzania

Investing in children's health equals investing in a society's future. Tanzania is aware of that and has addressed the issue. And with notable success: the east African country has achieved the fourth Millennium Development Goal – reducing child mortality by two thirds by 2015 – even before the deadline. To get this far, Tanzania significantly improved basic health care. This also includes making immunisation available that can protect children from life-threatening diseases such as pneumonia or diarrhoea.

For impressions of what Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is doing in Tanzania follow the link here.

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