New York, 21 September 2011 - The heads of the US and UK governments' aid programmes have recognised the GAVI Alliance as offering "game changing" lessons in the fight against global poverty.
At a high-level event during the UN General Assembly in New York today, Raj Shah, Head of USAID, and Andrew Mitchell, UK Secretary of State for International Development, highlighted GAVI as a model global development partnership that is significantly helping advance the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The eight MDGs are a set of internationally-agreed targets on reducing global poverty by 2015. GAVI, which is normally associated with MDG 4 - to reduce under-five child mortality by two-thirds - was showcased at the event under MDG 8 as a successful partnership which is advancing global development.
Since its creation in 2000, GAVI has galvanised a wide range of partners including governments, donors, civil society organisations and the private sector to support the immunisation of an extra 288 million children in the world's poorest countries. This ongoing effort has not only averted more than five million premature deaths but also given an opportunity to millions of children to grow up in good health.
GAVI and immunisation represent outstanding value for our money. Investments in immunisation yield a rate of return that is higher than nearly any other development intervention.
USAID Administrator Raj Shah
"The GAVI Alliance is making a real difference toward reducing poverty. We want to hold it up to the world, so others can learn from these successes. It demonstrates that development buys results - it shows that through innovations we can deliver inspirational change to people's lives," said Secretary of State Mitchell.
"To meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, we must work more effectively and efficiently to deliver meaningful results for the people we serve and GAVI is a good example of success," said USAID Administrator Raj Shah. "GAVI and immunisation represent outstanding value for our money. Investments in immunisation yield a rate of return that is higher than nearly any other development intervention," he added.
GAVI uses an innovative business model that not only finances the introduction of new vaccines in developing countries, but also reshapes the vaccine market, spurring the development of vaccines and expanding production. This, combined with the expertise of its members, makes this success sustainable in the long term and ensures it can be owned by the countries themselves.
GAVI has pioneered two successful innovative finance mechanisms, the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) and the Advance Market Commitment (AMC) for pneumococcal vaccines which have rapidly accelerated the introduction of life-saving vaccines into developing countries.
"Innovation and partnership are the key ingredients of our success and they will remain critical in our ambition to immunise another quarter billion children by 2015 with new vaccines," said GAVI's new Chief Executive Officer, Dr Seth Berkley.
Last week, Alliance members, UNICEF and the World Health Organization, announced that child mortality rates continue to steadily drop, in great part thanks to the increased number of children in the world who are immunised against life-threatening diseases.