Gates Foundation Pledges $1.55 Billion to GAVI Alliance

Gates Foundation Pledges $1.55 Billion to GAVI Alliance

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced a five-year, $1.55 billion commitment to the GAVI Alliance to bring life-saving vaccines to children in the world's poorest countries.

Announced at the GAVI Replenishment Conference in Berlin, the pledge includes almost $1.48 billion in core funding for the organization and up to $75 million to renew the GAVI Matching Fund, an initiative to encourage private-sector support for the alliance's immunization programs. Since 2000, the Gates Foundation has committed a total of more than $4 billion to GAVI.

The foundation's commitment to GAVI represents a sizable portion of the record $7.5 billion in pledges announced at the conference. They include pledges of $1 billion from USAID, $1.57 billion from the United Kingdom, $1 million each from the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers and the Riyadh-based Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation, and $5 million from other private-sector donors. The new funding will enable GAVI to immunize an additional three hundred million children between 2016 and 2020, resulting in five to six million premature deaths averted and healthcare cost savings and productivity gains of roughly $80 billion to $100 billion.

"Thanks to our donors, GAVI will be able to support developing countries to protect the lives of hundreds of millions of children," said GAVI board chair Dagfinn Høybråten. "We believe that vaccines should reach every child because this is one of the most effective ways of reducing preventable deaths in the poorest countries. The commitments made today will ensure GAVI can make a telling contribution towards the global community's goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030."

"Vaccines are one of the best investments in children's health and well-being, which is why GAVI is the foundation's single largest investment," said Gates Foundation co-chair Bill Gates. "The new funding announced today allows GAVI to give children everywhere a healthy start at life."