Cheque represents the first of three to the GAVI Matching Fund
GAVI Matching Fund partner Anglo American plc hosted a key meeting of business partners and suppliers last month in London, taking the opportunity to present a US$ 1 million cheque for immunisation programmes to GAVI Deputy CEO Helen Evans. The donation is the first of three US$ 1 million pledges it is making to the GAVI Matching Fund.
The meeting, hosted by Anglo American Chairman Sir John Parker at the Anglo American headquarters in London, was a private discussion among more than a dozen top business, government and foundation leaders of how public-private partnerships can help fund global health programmes.
Successful partnerships – like ours with GAVI – also are critical to the success of these efforts to strengthen health systems and thereby improve the health of families, communities and societies.
Sir John Parker, Chairman, Anglo American plc
Important role of private businesses
“Private businesses play an important role in addressing public health threats,” Sir John Parker said, noting that Anglo American – with more than 95% of its workforce in developing countries – is acutely aware of the need for strong health systems. “Addressing employee health challenges is critical to Anglo American’s business.”
In 2002, Anglo American was the first major employer to offer free antiretroviral treatment to its employees – the HIV-positive rate among its staff in Southern Africa is 16% -- and in 2008 it extended the benefit to employees’ families and dependents. The company also provides its employees with HIV testing, led by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Brink, who also attended the Matching Fund meeting.
“Successful partnerships – like ours with GAVI – also are critical to the success of these efforts to strengthen health systems and thereby improve the health of families, communities and societies", Sir John Parker concluded.
Part of GAVI's DNA
Public-private partnerships are “part of GAVI’s DNA,” offered Evans, and a key way that GAVI can work to prevent the 1.7 million children who still die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases. “GAVI is centered on measurable results, a key synergy with businesses. Working with us makes you part of the solution. We can’t do it without that help.”
Jeff Raikes, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, added that public-private partnerships are particularly important to bolstering underfunded areas of public health and providing equity of access to health interventions. To that end, GAVI provides one of the most attractive, results-oriented, highest social returns on investment available, Raikes said.
The British Government, through its Department for International Development, sees the advantages of bringing an investment banking approach to global health and development, noted Michael Anderson, DFID’s Director General for Policy and Global Issues. He pointed to GAVI as the leader in effectiveness and efficiency in providing aid.
GAVI Matching Fund partners and supporters
Discussion participants also included top representatives from eight large companies and foundations, with the discussion ranging from ways to expand immunisation coverage and how to obtain greater efficiencies in global health to creative ways to market the GAVI Matching Fund. Other Matching Fund partners in attendance included ARK Chairman Ian Wace and CEO Nick Jenkins; and J.P. Morgan Vice Chairman of European Investment Banking Andrea Ponti.
GAVI Matching Fund envoys Bill Roedy, former CEO of MTV Networks; and Alan Gillespie, Chairman of the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm), also participated, along with GAVI Managing Director for Innovative Finance David Ferreira.