GAVI applauds the recent Global Fund endorsement of an incremental approach to coordinated investments in health system strengthening

Geneva, 20 April 2010 - The GAVI Alliance Board today agreed to pursue the implementation of a common Health System Funding Platform to make better use of new and existing funds for health systems and to leverage additional funding. This builds on announcements made at the high level Task Force on Innovative Financing and Health, in September 2009, to commit an additional US$900 million for Health Systems Strengthening.

Strengthening health systems and removing bottlenecks

The performance and results-based platform, which is being developed together with The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and The World Bank with facilitation from the World Health Organization (WHO), aims to better deliver the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by strengthening health systems and removing bottlenecks in the delivery of health services in the world's poorest countries.

The platform should also reduce transaction costs for countries and rationalise the number of duplicative initiatives which can occur in health sector support to countries. It is about people getting the right vaccines, when they need them.  It is also about a woman delivering a healthy child and living to see it thrive, or a person getting the antiretroviral medicines or the tuberculosis or malaria prescription that he or she needs.

Ultimately, the Health System Funding Platform will ensure improvements in delivery of health services with more focus on children's health, including immunisation (MDG4), maternal health (MDG5), where least progress is being made, and HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria (MDG6). All are currently constrained by the quality of the underlying health system.

This harmonised platform will help countries access money more simply and spend it more effectively.

Julian Lob-Levyt, CEO, GAVI Alliance

Achieving the MDGs

Welcoming the Board's decision, GAVI's CEO Julian Lob-Levyt stated that the common platform would help remove barriers to immunisation and other life-saving services.  "With just five years left until the Millennium Development Goals fall due, many countries are struggling to achieve better delivery of services to meet these targets. This harmonised platform will help countries access money more simply and spend it more effectively," he said.

Dr Lob-Levyt also applauded the recent Global Fund endorsement to coordinate health systems funding.

The four collaborating agencies now have a joint workplan guiding the design of the platform which, it is hoped, will become a platform for all at country level. The work to develop the common platform builds on the strengths of each agency and has already involved wide ranging consultations at various levels, including with countries like Nepal, Ethiopia, Cambodia and Vietnam, with multilateral and bilateral donors, civil society and private sector partners.

What is the Health System Funding Platform (HSFP)?

Three key elements at the country level will be supported:

  • one plan encompassing all stakeholders;
  • one budget and implementation process;  
  • one results framework (one annual report).

With a clear focus on country results and value for money, this new funding channel will be flexible. It will also be inclusive and involve other relevant stakeholders including civil society and the private sector, many of whom have significant funding, and technical support, at the country level. The development of the platform builds on the Paris Declaration and Accra Principles on aid effectiveness.

GAVI's investments in Health System Strengthening

Since 2005, GAVI has been investing in health systems to address bottlenecks and increase the availability and use of vaccines in the developing world. The GAVI Board has already committed in 2006 an initial US$800 million to strengthen health systems and an additional US$ 900 million made possible by donations, in September 2009, from UK, Norway and Australia through the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) to support the development and implementation of the Health System Funding Platform.

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