Geneva, 04 May 2020 – Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance today welcomed a USD 1 billion pledge from Norway. The pledge, which represents a substantial increase from the country’s previous funding of the Alliance, was made at an online pledging event for accelerating development, production and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, hosted by the European Commission.
“In order to save lives, vaccines, treatment and diagnostic tools must be made available to all,” said Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg. “Gavi plays a vital role in making vaccines, including a COVID-19 vaccine when ready, available to poor countries and vulnerable groups.”
Norway was one of the six original Gavi donors and, since 2001, Norway has contributed close to USD 1.5 billion to Gavi through direct contributions and the funding of innovative mechanisms such as the Advance Market Commitment (AMC) and the International Financing Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm). These mechanisms have helped millions access critical vaccines such as the pneumococcal vaccine and funded the important work of organisations such as the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Response (CEPI). The current pledge of USD 1 billion, of which USD 400 million will go towards funding IFFIm, is an increase from Norway’s previous pledge for the period 2016-2020.
“I want to thank Norway for their decades of global health leadership and their strong, steadfast support of Gavi over the years, which has helped us reach more than half the world’s children with lifesaving vaccines,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “Today’s pledge will help us protect the next generation, vaccinating a further 300 million children in the poorest countries against a wide range of infectious diseases, and saving a further 8 million lives over the next five years. That it comes at such an important moment in global health is an acknowledgement of the critical role a fully-funded Gavi will play both in ensuring equitable access to a COVID-19 vaccine, as well as in preventing multiple outbreaks of other diseases by making sure routine immunisation programmes are kept running.”
Over 20 years, Gavi has helped to immunise more than 760 million children, saving more than 13 million lives. Over that time, the Alliance has also worked to strengthen health systems in the world’s poorest countries and establish vaccine stockpiles against serious global health security threats, including Ebola.