GAVI raises $152 million for vaccinations with private sector partnerships

The GAVI Alliance announced on Friday that it secured $152 million to immunize children against disease using private sector partnerships, a unique funding mechanism leveraging cash and expertise from corporations and foundations.

GAVI made the announcement at a CEO breakfast on Friday that took place during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Since GAVI established its Matching Fund in June 2011, 12 private sector partners have donated $76 million, an amount matched by either the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation or the U.K. government.

"Every twenty seconds a child dies from preventable diseases," Justine Greening, the international development secretary for the U.K., said. "Britain is supporting GAVI's work across the developing world to help end this tragedy. Just as Britain is harnessing the private sector to change the way we do development, these business partnerships are delivering the investment needed to bring life-saving vaccines to millions of the world's poorest children."

Greening and Bill Gates, the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, pointed out the critical role private sector partnerships play in improving global health. Greening and Gates called for increased participation by the private sector to reach the 22 million children who go unvaccinated annually.

"The private sector - working closely with governments and civil society - can play a crucial role in delivering vaccines to save children's lives," Gates said. "GAVI has been a game changer in the field of immunization by using new technology and innovative finance schemes to accelerate the delivery of vaccines."

There were more than 30 CEOs, government leaders and senior executives who attended the breakfast to discuss ways that the private sector is contributing to immunization and global health.

"The private sector has been a vital partner in helping GAVI overcome significant obstacles to vaccinating the world's poorest children," Dagfinn Høybråten, the board chair for the GAVI Alliance, said. "Vaccines have demonstrated significant public health returns and proven to be an engine for economic development. Public-private partnerships make sense."