Last week in New York City, donors were busy discussing their support for several global health funding initiatives. We’ve blogged already about the Global Fund replenishment meeting, but there was a separate meeting the day after for donors interested in supporting the GAVI Alliance, a mechanism that helps raise funding for introducing new and underused vaccines for children.
We’ve been looking closely at how ONE can help advocate for vaccines for children because protecting children for a lifetime from debilitating and deadly diseases is such a smart investment. Since GAVI started in 2000, it’s been able to support country efforts to increase coverage of vaccines to protect against preventable diseases like hepatitis, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, and it’s averted the deaths of 5.4 million children (see the chart). And it works smartly, too, using its buying power to drive down the price of vaccines while increasing the number of suppliers available for the developing world.
GAVI has received solid support from donors so far, but its financial needs are increasing rapidly as it seeks to get out new vaccines, including those for rotavirus (which causes diarrhea) and for pneumococcal infections (a leading cause of pneumonia).
The bottom line: GAVI needs a total of $7 billion from this year through 2015 to ensure it can get the vaccines to the children who need them, and with that money can avert the deaths of 4.2 million children. They’ve got about $2.7 billion already committed, so they estimate that they need another $4.3 billion to reach this target.
There’s a lot of work for GAVI and its partners to do, with as many as 24 million children still being missed by vaccines so we’ll be lending GAVI a hand as it seeks to engage donors and improve efficiency. Expect to hear more from us over the coming months as we’ll really need your help!