Proceeds Will be Used to Scale Up GAVI Alliance, Boost Vaccine Use and Improve Health Systems to Save Lives of Millions of Poorest Children
Paris, 12 October 2006 - The International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm), the World Bank, as IFFIm's treasury manager, and joint-lead managers Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs have embarked on a road show this week, stopping in five European cities to meet with potential investors to provide them with background information on IFFIm and its funding objectives.
IFFIm is a new international development institution designed to accelerate the availability of funds to be used for health and immunisation programmes through the GAVI Alliance in 70 of the poorest countries around the world.
"The creation of IFFIm provides investors with an opportunity to participate in the scaling up of a highly successful public-private collaboration that is focused on saving and improving the lives of the world's youngest and most vulnerable citizens," said Julian Lob-Levyt, Executive Secretary of the GAVI Alliance. "The new funds will enable GAVI to build on its successes, strengthening health systems in the poorest nations and expanding access to vaccines that would once have been considered out of reach."
According to the World Bank, IFFIm's Treasury Manager, and subject to market conditions, IFFIm plans to launch the inaugural transaction in the US$ market in the coming weeks in a benchmark maturity and a size of US$750 million to US$1 billion, taking into account the institution's financing needs for immunisation programmes in the next months and investor feedback.
"IFFIm will enable us to do something to prevent the terrible burden of suffering on poor nations, while saving the lives of millions of children," said Michèle Boccoz, Director of International Affairs for l'Institut Pasteur in Paris and member of the IFFIm Company Board. "In addition, we are being given the opportunity to demonstrate a new way of funding international development, addressing the seemingly intractable problems of poor nations with a tried and true model from the world of business."
The GAVI Alliance has reported significant advances in its first five years.
A recent study in the Lancet, carried out by researchers at Harvard University, credits GAVI with successfully reversing a downward trend in the delivery of basic vaccines to children in the poorest nations.
"This is the first time that there is hard evidence that one of the major global health programs is having a real impact," noted study author Christopher Murray, who was quoted in a Harvard press release issued on 17 September.
Since its launch in 2000, GAVI has demonstrated that the effectiveness of development assistance depends on making the funds targeted and building flexibility into the process. Countries eligible for GAVI support have seen improved immunisation coverage rates and have successfully introduced new vaccines. "Key to this success has been GAVI's approach," said Lob-Levyt. "It rewards results and enables partner countries to develop their own plans for reaching their immunisation goals. This success has in turn attracted the attention of donors."
Based on data provided by the GAVI Alliance, Murray and colleagues at Harvard examined GAVI's impact on immunisation coverage with basic vaccines in countries that had received funding for general immunisation services support (ISS), as well as support for the purchase of new vaccines and auto-disable syringes (non-ISS support). The authors concluded that "the success of ISS funding in countries with coverage <65% provides concrete evidence that a public-private partnership can work to reverse a negative trend in global health."
GAVI's success led six European nations (France, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom) to make legally-binding commitments to IFFIm. The donor nations are confident that a scaled-up GAVI Alliance will help reach the Millennium Development Goals by dramatically reducing the number of children who die every year from vaccine-preventable diseases. IFFIm will enable 500 million additional children to be immunised against preventable diseases, preventing 5 million child deaths and 5 million future adult deaths.
"These increases in funding for immunisation through GAVI have been possible only because countries have delivered results," Lob-Levyt said. "Contrary to popular misunderstanding, immunisation systems in many of the poorest nations, even those just emerging from conflict, demonstrate considerable resilience. This suggests that we have underestimated the ability of some countries to absorb funds the lack of which is often used as an excuse by donors to hold off investment."
The GAVI Alliance
An alliance of all the major stakeholders in immunisation, the GAVI Alliance includes among its partners developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry in both industrialised and developing countries, research and technical agencies, NGOs, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It is estimated that more than 1.7 million early deaths will have been prevented as a result of support by GAVI up to the end of 2005.
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.
This press release is not an offer for sale of Notes of the International Finance Facility for Immunisation Company ("IFFIm"), in the United States. The Notes are not being registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States or to US persons except pursuant to an applicable exemption from such registration.
Any offering of the Notes will be made only by means of a prospectus containing detailed information regarding IFFIm and its management, including financial statements. Such prospectus will be made available through IFFIm. This press release does not constitute an offer for sale of the securities described. The offering and sale of the securities described in this document are subject to restrictions under the laws of several countries. Securities may not be offered or sold except in compliance with all such laws.