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European Commission


Brussels, 20 May 2014

EU and GAVI Alliance: Working together to save lives

Overview – the EU and GAVI in partnership

The GAVI Alliance (formerly the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation) is a public-private global health partnership committed to protecting children’s health by increasing access to immunisation and strengthening health systems in the world’s poorest countries.

Since 2000, with support from donors like the European Union (EU) and strong commitment from implementing countries, the Alliance has helped countries to immunise an additional 440 million children and saved 6 million lives.

The EU has been a donor to the GAVI Alliance since 2003. The Alliance’s mission is closely aligned with the EU’s development policy to reduce poverty and help reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. GAVI Alliance support complements direct and regional support provided by European Institutions to partner countries.

Since 2003, the European Commission has committed over €83 million to the GAVI Alliance, coming in part from the Development Co-operation Instrument (DCI) and in part from the European Development Fund (EDF).

The GAVI Alliance has provided funding to 47 of the countries of the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP). Together ACP States account for 65% of all GAVI support.

As a public-private partnership, GAVI Alliance represents all the key stakeholders in global immunisation: implementing and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, civil society, the vaccine industry and private companies.

Drawing on the individual strengths of its members, the GAVI Alliance model aggregates country demand, guarantees long-term, predictable funding and brings down prices, helping to ensure that generations of children in poor countries do not miss out on lifesaving, economy-boosting vaccines.

GAVI Alliance funding supports 11 vaccines, including those against pneumococcal disease and rotavirus, the leading vaccine-preventable causes of pneumonia and diarrhoea, and human papillomavirus, which causes cervical cancer. Countries can request flexible support to address their health system strengthening (HSS) needs.

GAVI Funding history

Currently, the GAVI Alliance has 37 donors, including 10 EU Member States and the European Institutions. Many Alliance donors provide long-term predictable funding, which enables implementing countries in the ACP and beyond to step up their own investments in sustainable routine immunisation programmes.

In 2012, the GAVI Alliance was commended by the Multilateral Organisation Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN) for its effectiveness, its focus on results, good financial management and strong country ownership; 11 European Union member states are part of MOPAN.

The GAVI Alliance works in very close collaboration with ACP States, two of which are on the Board (through the representation of Senegal for Francophone Africa and Uganda for Anglophone Africa). €2.4 billion has been committed to ACP countries for vaccines & health system strengthening (HSS) support for the 2011-2015 period.

The need for vaccines

1.5 million children die every year from diseases which could be prevented by a simple vaccine. 1 in 5 children around the world doesn’t receive the full course of basic vaccines.

Indicators of access to health reveal that the situation is particularly worrying in sub-Saharan Africa, which accounts for 50 percent of all deaths among young children and almost half of the world’s maternal deaths. It is also the region hardest hit by HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

The EU’s work in healthcare

EU development cooperation focuses on building effective and sustainable health systems that provide services to the most vulnerable, including immunisation. This requires comprehensive and country-specific support to the whole health system, which is the main focus of our bilateral country programmes. The EU, in order to improve the health conditions in developing countries, is taking action in healthcare as well as in other sectors like nutrition, water and sanitation, information and education for healthier behaviour and road safety.

The EU funds its work in healthcare through two ways: a) Geographical instruments:

For example, the European Development Fund (in the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries), the Development Co-operation Instrument (in Latin America, Asia and South Africa), and the European Neighbourhood & Partnership Instrument (in the neighbouring regions). The geographical instruments constitute the major share of EU's support for health in developing countries.

b) Thematic programmes:

Complementing the EU’s geographic programmes, the Global Public Goods and Challenges programme will provide additional global support that focuses on the crucial elements of an effective and comprehensive health system that are best addressed at a supra-national level.

It addresses communicable (or contagious) diseases control, translation of medical and public health knowledge into products and policies that can deal with the changing impact of diseases (non-communicable diseases and environmental risk factors), and shaping global markets to improve access to essential health commodities and services, especially for sexual and reproductive health. This programme will therefore build on and complement the strengthening of overall health systems which is the main scope of the geographic programmes.

Since 2004, thanks to EU support on healthcare:

18.3 million children under one have been immunised against measles.

More than 8,500 health centres and facilities have been built, renovated or furnished

Almost 17 million consultations on reproductive health have taken place

Projects in focus:

Thanks to the EU, as well as other donors’ support, in January 2014, children across Liberia started receiving protection against one of the leading vaccine-preventable killers with the introduction of pneumococcal vaccine (PCV).

In April 2013, the Somali authorities launched in the national routine immunisation programme, a new five-in-one-vaccine against several potentially fatal childhood diseases. The pentavalent vaccine protects against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) - the bacteria that cause meningitis, pneumonia and other illnesses.

For more information

Website of the DG Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid:

GAVI Alliance:

On Liberia project:

On Somalia project:

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