Netherlands increases support for Gavi vaccination alliance

Speaking in Berlin today, foreign trade and development cooperation minister Lilianne Ploumen will express her appreciation and support for the work of Gavi – the vaccination alliance that runs major programmes in numerous developing countries. In her address to the Gavi Pledging Conference, her message will be clear: ‘Gavi is saving millions of lives, especially those of women and children. The results speak for themselves. That’s why the Netherlands firmly believes in supporting this work.’ Ms Ploumen will also announce an increase in the Netherlands’ support from €200 million to €250 million for the next five years.

Since the foundation of Gavi in 2000, almost 500 million children have been immunised against diseases like measles, German measles, diphtheria, tetanus and polio, as well as forms of diarrhoea, meningitis and pneumonia. As a result, six million lives have been saved. The partnership involving government authorities, various organisations, businesses and philanthropic foundations has also introduced the pentavalent five-in-one vaccine in all 73 Gavi-affiliated countries. The vaccine provides protection against five diseases and is therefore highly cost-effective, too.

In addition, some €50 million has also been recently invested in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. All three countries have been severely hit by Ebola, disrupting most of the routine vaccination programmes there. ‘Gavi is also playing a key role in encouraging the pharmaceutical industry to invest in developing an anti-Ebola vaccine,’ Ms Ploumen said.
The plans for 2016 to 2020 are ambitious. Over the next five years, Gavi wants to immunise another 300 million children and introduce 150 new vaccines. In addition, there are plans to vaccinate 30 million women against cervical cancer. In parallel with the HPV vaccine, information and services on a range of topics, including healthy nutrition and SRHR, will be made available to millions of adolescent girls.

Gavi’s innovative financing methods are also distinctive. Of the Dutch contribution, €180 million is being earmarked for basic financing. A new sum of €10 million is being donated to the Gavi Matching Fund: under this scheme, donations from the private sector are matched by public parties. The donation is made available if a business contributes an equal sum. According to Ms Ploumen, ‘This cooperation between the public and private sectors is very important. It means that more money becomes available and innovative plans can get off the ground much faster.’ The remaining €60 million will go to the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm), which provides direct funding through the capital markets.