GAVI Civil Society Constituency calls on donors
MAY 2011 - Civil society organisations have been supporting the GAVI Alliance since its inception by encouraging donors to support its work, influencing its policies and directly contributing to its operations in poor countries. We also play a critical watch dog role to ensure transparency and accountability. We mobilise communities and civil society, influence governments, contribute to research, and help deliver vaccines to marginalised and hard-to-reach (and hard-to-convince) communities. Work supported by the GAVI Alliance has resulted in 280 million children who would previously not have benefited from vaccines being immunized and more than five million deaths averted. Vaccines and GAVI are essential to the achievement of Millennium Development Goal 4 by 2015 (reduce childhood mortality by 2/3 compared to 1990).
We strongly support GAVI’s 2011-2015 Strategy to further expand access to basic vaccines and catalyse the rapid introduction of newer vaccines against diseases caused by pneumococcus and rotavirus – now the two biggest vaccine-preventable killers of young children in poor countries. At least 45 countries have indicated their desire to introduce pneumonia and rotavirus vaccine but the GAVI Alliance is $3.7 billion short of having the resources necessary to support this introduction during the period 2011-2015.
We are calling on donors to ensure that this plan is fully funded by the end of the Pledging Conference on 13 June. We call on all parties involved to commit resources to ensure that the poorest segments of the world have equitable access to the vaccines that protect those in the richest parts of the world and to ensure that all countries have the resources needed to sustain and strengthen routine immunization infrastructure, achieve global initiative goals (e.g., polio, measles), respond to outbreaks, and introduce new vaccines. Vaccination is a right of every child, no matter how poor.
Furthermore, we are calling on GAVI, its donors and partners to use the 13 June Pledging Conference to give clear guidance to maximise the impact of these resources and address important gaps:
- There remain important gaps in the coverage of vaccines, with the poorest children in the poorest communities often missing out. GAVI’s strong commitment to the principle of equity should be re-emphasized to ensure that new and existing vaccines do not exclude the poor.
- Vaccines do not administer themselves. GAVI has been a leader in supporting health systems to enable countries to develop their immunisation structures and has shown real commitment to building the Health Systems Funding Platform. The 13 June Conference should reaffirm the importance of supporting developing countries to build sustainable health systems with sufficient health workers, both through GAVI’s operations and the support of other donors.
- Countries in the developing world must commit national resources to assure an adequate infrastructure to deliver vaccines as well as to purchase vaccines consistently.
- GAVI has a mandate to shape the vaccine market and ensure that vaccines are made affordable for developing countries through its procurement policies. The price of new vaccines must fall through voluntary reductions, effective purchasing and increasing competition from emerging market manufacturers.
- The role of civil society in supporting the acceptability of and demand for vaccines should be reaffirmed and funding needs to be made available to support this work in developing countries.
We ask that donors and potential donors respond affirmatively to the GAVI Alliance call for pledging of support to carry out critical activities in the period 2011-2015 by committing to fill the $3.7 billion funding gap.