Li Xiaopeng, Group President of CMG and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at CMCF, and Dr Seth Berkley, Gavi CEO, shake hands on the historic agreement.
Credit: Li Zhang/Gavi/2017.
Beijing, 29 June 2017 – China Merchants Charitable Foundation (CMCF), a charity affiliation of China Merchants Group (CMG) will contribute US$ 1.5 million to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to support childhood immunisation in developing countries in 2017-2019. This multi-year pledge from CMG is the first agreement of its kind signed between Gavi and a private sector company in the Asia Pacific region.
“China Merchants Group has a deserved reputation as a global leader in logistics, supply chain and financial services, and this multi-year pledge underlines the company’s unwavering commitment to making a real difference to the lives of children in developing countries,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi. “We are very grateful to CMG for their support and hope that this partnership will inspire more collaborations with leading business in Asia. It will help build sustainable immunisation programmes as well as strengthen health systems that will benefit children for generations to come.”
The partnership with CMG exemplifies China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a development strategy formulated by President Xi Jinping, which encompasses 68 countries representing 40% of global GDP. As the world becomes more interconnected and we witness a rise in the movement of people and goods, partnerships of this kind have an increasingly important role to play in global health and development.
“China Merchants Group is pleased to establish a new partnership with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to support its mission of saving children’s lives and protecting people’s health through immunisation,” said Li Xiaopeng, Group President of CMG and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at CMCF. “CMG operates in 43 countries and regions across the globe, and has formed a network of ports, logistics, and industrial parks in Southeast Asia, East Asia, Africa, and Europe, with commitment to improve lives in local communities. By providing financial support to promote immunisation, we look forward to working closely with Gavi in the future to contribute our business expertise to make sure that every child is protected with life-saving vaccines.”
The contribution will be disbursed through CMCF in the period of 2017-2019 and will be matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through its support to the Gavi Matching Fund. Multi-year funding commitments are crucial to Gavi’s success because they provide predictability for all partners, including implementing countries and vaccine manufacturers that costs will be covered and vaccines distributed on time. Private sector engagements of this kind also help drive support for immunisation. Between 2000 and 2015, Gavi's donors helped immunise 580 million of the world’s poorest children, saving 8 million lives.