"Gavi was created to try and fix what was understood as a market failure around the ready availability of vaccines in the US and Europe, and the absence of those vaccines in developing countries."Alice

Alice Albright, former Chief Financial and Investment Officer & Washington, DC, office head, GAVI Alliance

Carol Bellamy




"The Gates Foundation announced a gift of 750 million dollars to support a new immunisation initiative. One of the UNICEF board members thought the translator made a mistake – it couldn’t be as much as 750 million. But it was, and it was amazing."

Carol Bellamy, former Executive Director, UNICEF; former Chair, GAVI Board

Seth"I think the magic of Gavi is that we don’t just work on vaccines. People say, ‘Oh, you’re a vertical initiative.’ I don’t see us as a vertical initiative. First of all, vaccines don’t deliver themselves, so we need to have adequate health systems, adequate supply chains and data systems and surveillance and a cold chain."

Seth Berkley, former CEO, Gavi


Bill G




"Twenty years ago, the children of the world weren't getting the vaccines they needed. The children at most risk in poor countries were the ones who were getting the least vaccines. And so we needed to find the resources to get countries to adopt the vaccines so that every child would be protected against diarrhoea, pneumonia and other killing diseases."

Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

"We started with five people for the first couple of years. The major difference was that we then invited countries to submit proposals …  Tore Godaland then we had an independent committee that assessed those proposals."

Tore Godal, founding CEO, GAVI

Gro"Yes, money speaks, and the US$ 750 million investment for GAVI meant we could create a big enough market to produce vaccines and drive research into new vaccines. And they knew that vaccines would be bought and distributed across the world, which is why it all worked."

Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Director-General, WHO; founding Chair, GAVI Board



"The spirit of Gavi is partnership. We do things together. We bring giants in their own capacity from the multilateral, national, industry, civil society together, Dagfinn Hoybratenand instead of dominating, we are collaborating, and we create this higher unity that we couldn't have done apart."

Dagfinn Høybråten, former Chair, Gavi Board

President Mandela’s first task was to bring together other leaders to serve on the Board

Graca Machel"Madiba has always been very passionate about children. … He always wanted children to have the best society could give. So, when he was approached to chair The Vaccine Fund, it was naturally something which gave him a platform to serve children globally."

Graça Machel, former Chair, The Vaccine Fund

"How can you say that we as an international community do not have the possibility to overcome this problem, which is clearly not an economical one? It is a Jacques-Francois Martinmatter of governance, of organising ourselves, but we clearly, all together, have the possibility to make the case."

Jacques-François Martin, former President, The Vaccine Fund

"The International Finance Facility for Immunisation is a unique instrument which Gavi uses to access capital markets to raise moneyNgozi Okonjo-Iwealaand frontload resources with the guarantee of governments, so we can save lives sooner and faster."

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chair, Gavi Board



"It’s always been a dynamic organisation, and it changes all the time, but I remember when we started with eight people in the basement of UNICEF."

Corina Roberts, Senior Executive Assistant to Deputy CEO, Gavi

“I was serving as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in the year 2000. I got a phone call from Nelson Mandela, and he asked me to serve on the GAVI Fund board, which had just been established, and he was Chair. And of course, when Mandela asks, you feel very honoured. So, I said yes, but I also was aware that we hadn't been successful in reaching children for vaccination. We needed to very much up that game."Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson, former Chair, GAVI Alliance Board

"Vaccines are remarkable in that they produce the world's most precious resource; they save children's lives. And those children grow up to be teachers, Bill Roedythey grow up to be nurses, they grow up to be leaders. And that in effect is the world's most precious resource. In the end, vaccines are about not only innovation, and power, but they're magical. And what Gavi does is surround itself with the magic and the miracle of vaccines.”

Bill Roedy, Gavi Envoy; former Vice Chair, Gavi Board

"Gavi was one of the first major platform initiatives of the World Economic Forum. In many ways, it is a role model for how the public and private sector should cooperate to work in a much more efficient way, compared with the effect of governments alone or business alone or civil society alone."Klaus Schwab

Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum
Last updated: 17 Aug 2023

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