Private sector partnerships prove critical for GAVI

The GAVI Alliance announced on Friday during the World Economic Forum that it has secured more than $150 million in 30 months through a vaccine funding program that uses cash and expertise from corporations and foundations.

The GAVI Matching Fund, supported by the United Kingdom Government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, matches donations to purchase vaccines, address logistical challenges and improve vaccine delivery.

The matching fund was created in June 201. Twelve private-sector partners have donated $76 million, which was matched matched by either the UK Government or the Gates Foundation.

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

GAVI said it is well-positioned for an active year, and began a multi-year initiative with Vodafone to deploy mobile technology in some Mozambique health facilities. The technology will help increase immunization coverage, reduce dropout rates and improve vaccine stock management. If the program is successful, it will be implemented in other African countries.

GAVI had partnered with Lions Clubs International, LDS Charities, Comic Relief, British Airways and Spain's "la Caixa" bank to raise money and recruit volunteers.

GAVI also announced a new contribution from ELMA Vaccines and Immunization Foundation that will support vaccine transportation, refrigeration and stock management.