Flexible financing provides funds when needed
One of the key initiatives launched by Gavi is the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm), which uses long- term donor pledges to issue vaccine bonds on the capital markets.
The money raised from investors helps fund Gavi programmes to meet immediate country demand for vaccines. This ensures a near-term positive impact on public health that strengthens and protects future generations.
IFFIm has thus been able to raise US$ 5 billion from investors, helping Gavi shift predictable donor funding through time. This affords Gavi great flexibility, allowing it to access funds when needed most, not only when disbursable by its donors.
Together, IFFIm’s donors – the UK, France, Italy, Norway, Australia, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden and South Africa – have pledged to contribute more than US$ 6.5 billion to IFFIm spanning 23 years. These funds are used to repay IFFIm bondholders. Brazil has pledged to become IFFIm’s 10th donor.
With this solid financial base and the World Bank as its Treasury Manager, IFFIm is rated AA / Aa1 / AA by FitchRatings, Moody’s Investor Service and Standard & Poor’s.
The proceeds of vaccine bonds help ensure predictable funding and more efficient operations for Gavi, which has nearly doubled its spending on immunisation programmes since IFFIm was launched in 2006. It also provides predictability for countries’ vaccine programmes.
In addition, Gavi can frontload funds when necessary for rapid roll-out of new and underused vaccines. For example, IFFIm funds enabled Gavi to stimulate country demand for the five-in-one pentavalent vaccine, enlarging the size of the market, attracting new manufacturers and reducing prices.
These attributes were cited in an independent evaluation of IFFIm that strongly commended its financial model and results. The report noted that not only do IFFIm-funded investments generate “extremely good returns,” but also that the health impact is considerable – likely helping Gavi save more than 2.1 million lives to date.
Vaccine bonds also provide investors with a socially responsible investment opportunity. In recognition of IFFIm’s work, EuroWeek magazine cited IFFIm’s 2008 inaugural "uridashi" bond issue in Japan as among the 25 most influential deals between 2007-2012, helping set a trend of ethically-themed bonds sold in Japan. IFFIm’s debut sukuk was awarded Social Impact Deal of the Year-2014 by Islamic Finance News. And IFFIm was cited as the "SRI Innovation of the Decade" by mtn-i, a news, data and analytics provider.