Reaching every child – impressions from Tanzania
Fighting infectious diseases, improving child and maternal health, and strengthening health care systems are key concerns of the G7. Health will also be one of the priorities during Germany's G7 Presidency. The first highlight of the presidency was the replenishment conference for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance that was held in Berlin.
The Replenishment Conference on 26/27 January 2015
German Development Minister Gerd Müller hosted an event on 26 January before the official conference launch. Under the heading of "United for a healthy future – strengthening health systems is key!" Minister Müller and Federal Minister of Health Hermann Gröhe held talks with many national and international guest. The participants discussed ways of establishing basic health care even in the poorest countries. Another important issue was the Ebola epidemic. Speakers included Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, and Awa Marie Coll-Seck, Health Minister from Senegal, who talked about the situation in her country.
The focus on 27 January was on replenishing Gavi. The replenishing conference hosted by the BMZ and under the patronage of German Chancellor Angela Merkel who also attended, brought together many high-level representatives from donor countries and partners of the vaccine alliance. The ambitious target for pledges that had been set - 7.5 billion US-dollar – was even surpassed. Minister Müller was very pleased with the outcome:
"The 7.539 billion dollars that were pledged today mean that an additional 300 million children in the world's poorest countries can be vaccinated. The efforts made in recent years can thus be substantially enhanced and further expanded. For the 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."
At the Gavi replenishment conference, 17 countries, the European Commission and partners from the private sector pledged new contributions totalling 7.539 billion US dollar. Amongst the donor countries there are four countries who are contributing money to Gavi for the first time (China, Qatar, Oman und Saudi Arabia).
For the period from 2016 to 2020, the United Kingdom is the largest donor, with 2.343 billion US dollar, followed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (1.553 billion) and Norway (1.016 billion). The USA are contributing 800 million US dollar, Germany 720 million, France 524, Italy 437, Canada 451 and the European Commission 240 million US dollar.
You can find the complete list of donor countries and organisations here.
Immunisation saves lives
Immunisation is one of the most effective measures to prevent infectious diseases. To date, Gavi programmes have led to 500 million children being immunised and thus protected against life-threatening diseases. In the period between 2016 and 2010 Gavi aims to ensure that another 300 million children receive the same treatment. To be able to do that the alliance needs new donor contributions totalling 7.5 billion US dollars. Germany hosted the replenishment conference and committed to ensuring Gavi achieves this funding objective. The German government will scale up its contribution to Gavi significantly, to a total of up to 600 million euros by 2020.
The Gavi replenishment conference was the first highlight of Germany's G7 Presidency. It showed that
• important Millennium Development Goals that have not yet been achieved, such as reducing maternal and child mortality, will continue to be pursued with great vigour after 2015;
• the German government is committed to ensuring that global partnerships play a key role in the new post-2015 development agenda: Gavi is a good example of how successful such partnerships can be.
German development cooperation in the field of health focuses on strengthening national health care systems. The current Ebola crisis is a very painful reminder that in countries with well-functioning health care systems diseases can be quickly stopped in their tracks and immunisation programmes more easily organised.