Gavi to step up engagement with countries preparing for transition from Vaccine Alliance support

from GAVI Alliance
Published on 11 Jun 2015 View Original

Board decisions will help increase sustainability of developing countries’ immunisation programmes

Geneva, 11 June 2015 –The Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance today approved a number of measures to support the implementation of the Alliance’s 2016 to 2020 strategy. These include an enhanced focus on coverage and equity, promoting sustainable immunisation programmes and supporting countries towards successful transition from Gavi funding.

“There is absolutely no reason why children should miss out on vaccination because of where they live,” said Dagfinn Høybråten, Chair of the Gavi Board. “Today’s decisions will help strengthen life-saving immunisation programmes in developing countries and ensure they can be sustained after Gavi support ends"

To increase the sustainability of immunisation programmes in developing countries as they transition out of Gavi support, the Gavi Board approved the following:

  • Changes to the way countries transition out of Gavi support. These include earlier preparation for the end of support with an increased focus on sustainability and, in specific circumstances, extending engagement with countries that have had a short period to prepare for the transition as a result of exceptionally rapid increases in income and therefore potentially coming to the end of Gavi support earlier than planned.
  • Alterations to Gavi’s country co-financing policy. Under the new policy, countries entering a preparatory transition phase will begin paying a percentage of the price of the vaccines they are using rather than the currently-used flat rate per dose. As with the existing policy, these countries’ contributions will increase on a yearly basis. The alterations will strengthen countries’ preparations for transitioning from Gavi support by creating more awareness around the financial implications of vaccine choices and supporting them to make more informed decisions on which vaccines to use.
  • Plans to allow countries who have transitioned from Gavi support to be included in UNICEF tenders on behalf of Gavi-supported countries for specific vaccines with the aim of continuing to provide them with access to prices similar to those Gavi pays for a five year period after they take on full self-financing of vaccines, giving them time to stabilise their budgets and further strengthen their systems. The decision is underpinned by an agreement between Gavi and the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) to work together to increase access to vaccines and sustainability of immunisation programmes for countries.
  • Provision of US$ 5 million in funding to UNICEF’s Vaccine Independence Initiative, a revolving fund which supports timely availability of short-term financing for countries to meet vaccine payment terms and is available to all low- and middle-income countries, including those who are not eligible for Gavi support.

The Board also approved:

  • A new Partners’ Engagement Framework (PEF), which recognises the critical need to work in new ways to achieve the goals of the Alliance’s 2016 to 2020 strategy. The PEF is designed to enable key Vaccine Alliance partners to better support developing countries’ immunisation programmes - including in key strategic areas such as data quality, demand promotion and supply chain strengthening.
  • A range of metrics to track delivery of Gavi’s 2016 to 2020 strategy, as part of the Vaccine Alliance’s commitment to impact, transparency and accountability.
  • The creation of an innovative funding mechanism to increase developing countries’ access to more efficient, reliable and innovative cold chain equipment. Inadequate cold chain equipment is a key bottleneck to reliably reaching all children with immunisation services. The new Cold Chain Equipment Optimisation Platform, which will be launched in 2016 with initial Gavi funding of US$ 50 million, offers market-shaping potential by consolidating demand from countries.
  • Support for two additional measles vaccination campaigns, one each in Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The support will enable these two countries to vaccinate a total of 26.5 million children against the deadly disease. At its next meeting, the Gavi Board will also consider a new strategy for the Vaccine Alliance’s engagement in tackling measles.

“The package of decisions taken today by the Gavi Board today leaves us well prepared to deliver on our 2016 to 2020 strategy,” said Gavi CEO Dr Seth Berkley. “Sustainability of immunisation programmes is vital to ensuring that children continue to receive life-saving vaccines and today’s decisions underpin Gavi’s commitment to sustainability.”

The Gavi Board approved the appointment of the following new members:

  • William Roedy, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MTV Networks International, as an Unaffiliated Board Member.
  • Blair Exell, First Assistant Secretary of the Development Policy Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as Board Member representing the Australia, Japan, Korea, and United States donor constituency.
  • Katherine Taylor, deputy assistant administrator for the Bureau for Global Health at USAID, as Board Member representing the Australia, Japan, Korea, and United States donor constituency.
  • Naveen Thacker, Director of Deep Children’s Hospital 9.4 and Research Centre in Gandhidham, in the Indian state of Gujarat, as Board Member representing the Civil Society Organisations.

The Gavi Board also approved the reappointment of the following Board members:

  • H.R.H. the Infanta Cristina of Spain, Director of International Programmes of “la Caixa” Foundation in charge of global health and development projects in the world’s most vulnerable countries, as an Unaffiliated Board Member.
  • Yifei Li, China chair for Man Group, as an Unaffiliated Board Member.