Norway increases and prolongs support for global immunisation until 2015

Norway Joins the International Finance Facility for Immunization (IFFIm)

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New Delhi, 7 December 2005 - The Prime Minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg, announced today that starting in 2006 the Government of Norway will boost its annual support to the GAVI Alliance (formerly known as the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization). Norway's 2006 donation to global immunization will now total 500 million kroner (approximately USD$75 million), up 66% in regard to the 2005 contribution. This contribution should be kept at this level until 2015, bringing Norway's total support for global immunization to 6.5 billion kroner (approximately US$1 billion depending on exchange rates).

Moreover, the Prime Minister of Norway announced that Norway will be joining the International Finance Facility for Immunization (IFFIm) to boost efforts to raise additional development funds via new and innovative financing.

"It is unnecessary and unacceptable that a child dies every third second, that more than 26,000 children die every day, that more than 10 million children die every year," said Prime Minister Stoltenberg. "One quarter of these children can be saved by vaccines available today or in the very near future. This is why we invest in children's health through the GAVI Alliance. This is possible. This is affordable. How can we defend not to do it?"

Prime Minister Stoltenberg made his announcement at the opening of the 3rd GAVI Partners' Meeting in New Delhi, 7-9 December, where the world's foremost experts in public health and vaccines are meeting to review progress and confront the challenges in immunizing children in impoverished countries.

"From the beginning Norway has been a leader in its support of the GAVI Alliance and child immunization," said Dr. Julian Lob-Levyt, Executive Secretary of the GAVI Alliance. "We are grateful for this increased funding as it will strengthen our efforts to deliver vaccines to the poorest children of the world."

GAVI has been financed by ten governments to date-Canada, Denmark, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as the European Union, private contributors, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. GAVI resources help strengthen health and immunization systems, accelerate access to selected vaccines and new vaccine technologies-especially vaccines that are new or underused-and improve injection safety.

Norway joins the UK, France, Italy, Spain, and Sweden as a donor to IFFIm. The International Finance Facility for Immunization, or IFFIm, is a new financing mechanism that will use pledges of future aid to leverage money from international capital markets for immediate use. IFFIm financing will accelerate significantly the availability of new development funding.

GAVI's efforts are critical to achieving the Millennium Development Goal on child health, which calls for reducing childhood mortality by two-thirds by 2015. Of the more than 10 million children who die before reaching their fifth birthday every year, 2.5 million die from diseases that could be prevented with currently available or new vaccines. It is projected that more than 1.7 million premature future deaths will have been prevented through GAVI support by the end of 2005.

About the GAVI Alliance

The GAVI Alliance is a public-private partnership that aims to immunise children and strengthen health systems in the world's poorest countries. It brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry in both industrialised and developing countries, research and technical agencies, NGOs, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and private philanthropists. GAVI provides vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis combined with haemophilus influenzae type b and hepatitis B as so-called pentavalent (five antigens in one vaccine) as well as vaccines against measles, yellow fever, pneumococcal diseases (pneumonia and meningitis) and rotavirus (diarrhoea).

About IFFIm

International Finance Facility for Immunisation Company (IFFIm) is a multilateral development institution created to accelerate the availability of predictable, long-term funds for health and immunisation programmes through the GAVI Alliance (formerly the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation) in 70 of the poorest countries around the world. IFFIm was created as a development financing tool to help the international community achieve the Millennium Development Goals. IFFIm's financial base consists of legally binding grants payments from its sovereign sponsors (France, Italy, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and the UK), on the basis of which IFFIm's is rated AAA/Aaa/AAA (Fitch/Moody's/S&P). The World Bank is the Treasury Manager for IFFIm. IFFIm was established as a charity with the Charity Commission for England and Wales and is registered in England and Wales as a company limited by guarantee with number 5857343 and as a charity with number 1115413.

About the World Bank

The World Bank is a global development cooperative owned by 187 member countries. Its purpose is to help its members achieve equitable and sustainable economic growth in their national economies and to find effective solutions to pressing regional and global problems in economic development and environmental sustainability. The goal is to help overcome poverty and improve standards of living for people worldwide. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), rated Aaa/AAA (Moody's/S&P), is the oldest and largest entity in the World Bank Group and provides funding, risk management tools and credit enhancement to sovereigns. To fund this activity, IBRD has been issuing debt securities in the international capital markets for 60 years. The World Bank is also the Treasury Manager for IFFIm. In that capacity, the World Bank, as IFFIm's agent, manages IFFIm's finances according to prudent policies and standards. This includes IFFIm's funding strategy and its implementation in the capital markets, rating agency and investor outreach, hedging transactions and investment management. The World Bank also coordinates with IFFIm's donors and manages their pledges and payments as well as IFFIm's disbursements for immunisation and health programmes through the GAVI Alliance. 

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