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Paying for immunisation – who should give what to Gavi?

A health worker vaccinates children at a clinic in the Democratic Republic of Congo
(photo: Ivy Lahon/Save the Children)

Today, Save the Children and the Action partnership are launching a new report on funding for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. In January 2015, Gavi will hold a replenishment conference to raise $7.5 billion in new funding for vaccines for 2016–20 – as I have described before.

Our new report, A Chance to Reach Every Child, outlines how much each donor should give to meet this target, as well as how this funding should be spent.  In writing this report, one issue for me to grapple with has been how much we can expect each donor to give to Gavi.

Since the last funding period Gavi’s funding needs have increased by roughly a third.  So if every existing donor were to increase their level of funding proportionally, the full amount would be met.  But that can’t be assumed – each country’s decision is based on its political context, economy, aid levels and, within the aid budget, its priorities for development support. And of course, all these factors have changed since the last replenishment meeting was held in 2011.

How then to determine who should give what?

One approach – and the one we’ve taken here – is to consider a fair share for each country, as is being tried for the Ebola response.  So we asked, “Based on the size of your economy, what resources should a country be providing?”

The stats on Gavi’s funding show a very uneven picture. Three donors – UK, Norway and the Gates Foundation – contribute around 60% of the total.

A dip in funding from any of the three big three would have devastating consequences – on immunisation targets and on children’s lives. We can’t always expect these donors to increase funding if others don’t. Other countries – including Germany, Japan and the US – need to take more of the load and step up their contributions.

We’re also calling for a wider pool of donors. We’ve identified countries who don’t currently give to Gavi, but do give to other pooled financing mechanisms – for HIV/AIDS, TB & malaria or education, for example.  Those countries include new donors like Brazil and China.

So, how much are we asking individual countries to give? Based on conversations with activists, governments and Gavi we’ve drawn up this table showing what charities and civil society are calling from each of the top donors – as well as how many children could be immunised and how many lives would be saved by each country’s contribution.

In coming up with this, we took into account the size of each country’s economy, their political context, their aid budget, and their expected priorities for funding. (We’ll be updating the table in the run-up to the conference on 27 January.)

Right now, our energies are focused on lobbying the UK to give £1.2 billion in new funding. We’re also calling for Germany – as hosts of the January conference – to pledge €500 million.

So far, we’ve heard encouraging noises from that the UK, Germany, Japan, USA, France and Italy. But positive words aren’t enough. We need action. We’re campaigning to make that happen.

These are ambitious calls for funding – representing the highest-ever donation for each country.

But the prize – up to 6 million children’s lives saved – is immense.

TAKE ACTION. Spread the word by tweeting this message: 

New @SaveChildrenUK & @ResultsUK report calls for £1.2 billion from @Dfid_UK for #Gavi http://bit.ly/10v8MKD


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