Children’s rights campaigner Graça Machel and the GAVI Alliance celebrate the results of IFFIm support
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Cape Town, 28 November 2007 - Nearly US$ 1 billion is being injected into life-saving vaccines and health services in developing countries as a result of the bond issuance by the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) one year ago this month - the first such bond issuance with its proceeds provided to countries as grants for a specific development purpose.
Through the front-loaded, long-term, predictable funding GAVI can now offer, governments can scale up their immunisation programmes and build long-term health strategies with confidence and ambition.
Julian Lob-Levyt, Executive Secretary, GAVI Alliance
Meeting immunisation needs
Of the initial US$ 1 billion raised from the November 2006 bond launch, the net proceeds of which, US$ 995 million is being spent on immunisation and health programmes; US$ 912 million of this will be spent in 2007 in 43 of the world's poorest countries.
"This ground-breaking way of raising aid money has brought tremendous health gains in its first year," said IFFIm board chairman Alan Gillespie. "It has uniquely boosted countries' existing immunisation programmes, funded the demand and development of easier-to-administer combination vaccines, and has been flexible in response to urgent immunisation needs."
Julian Lob-Levyt, Executive Secretary of the GAVI Alliance* which distributes the funds raised by IFFIm said: "IFFIm support has doubled the amount of money GAVI has been able to allocate to its immunisation and health system strengthening programmes. In just its first year, IFFIm has delivered a massive amount of financing to tackle bottlenecks in accessing immunisation. Through the front-loaded, long-term, predictable funding GAVI can now offer, governments can scale up their immunisation programmes and build long-term health strategies with confidence and ambition."
"Investor and market interest in IFFIm's triple-A rated bonds was especially strong because of the bonds' extremely important purpose - channelling funds to people in developing countries to improve their health care through strengthened immunisation programmes," added World Bank Multilateral and Innovative Financing Director Susan McAdams.
The World Bank** acts as Treasury Manager for IFFIm, managing its finances, funding strategy, and its implementation in the capital markets.
Of the US$ 912 million being given to countries in 2007:
US$ 181 million is being spent on securing supply of the combination 5-in-1 pentavalent vaccine. This pentavalent vaccine immunises children against five diseases: diptheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), a cause of severe infections including meningitis and pneumonia. With additional supply of this vaccine, the number of countries applying for GAVI support for Hib vaccine has almost doubled in a year to 44.
US$ 114.6 million is going to health system strengthening programmes (HSS) to help countries build and implement long-term robust national health strategies. HSS support covers a range of activities including staff training, cold chain and logistics.
US$ 191 million is for long-term country-requested programmes that support the introduction of new vaccines and immunisation safety.
US$ 139 million is for strengthening measles campaigns. IFFIm's funding represents about 80% of the total amount of external funding for measles available to high-burden countries in 2007, amounting to life-saving measles immunisation for 194 million children in 32 countries.
US$ 191.3 million of the funds are being fast-tracked into pre-existing polio eradication efforts and vaccine stockpiles. In June 2007, IFFIm provided US$ 105 million for intensified polio eradication activities, helping to immunise more than 100 million children under the age of five, averting a set-back to a 20-year effort to eradicate the disease.
US$ 44 million is being allocated to other tactical investments, such as stockpiles of yellow fever vaccine. IFFIm's funding for risk assessments for yellow fever has led to the identification of previously unrecognised at-risk populations. Demand for the vaccine has almost doubled from 12 million doses in 2005 to 23 million in 2007. IFFIm's funding to help build a reserve of yellow fever vaccine enabled a quick response to an outbreak of this highly infectious and lethal disease in Cameroon in 2007.
US$ 51.4 million to support campaigns against maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT). There is a projected doubling, to 26 million, in the number of women targeted with tetanus vaccine in 2007 and early 2008. IFFIm is providing 90% of funding resources for the 2007 MNT global elimination campaign.
Investment in children's lives
An anticipated total IFFIm funding of up to US$ 4 billion is expected to help prevent 10 million child and adult deaths between 2006 and 2015.
"The investment made in children's lives by IFFIm bondholders and those governments that have backed those bonds is extraordinary," remarked GAVI Fund Board Chair Graça Machel. "Our deepest appreciation goes to the personal conviction and drive of the truly committed and visionary group of people who made this life-saving contribution happen."
Donors to IFFIm include the governments of France, Italy, Norway, South Africa Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The government of Brazil announced its intention to join IFFIm in March 2006 with a commitment of US$20.00 million over 20 years.
Since its successful bond launch IFFIm has been widely recognised for its innovative character. Its awards include the 2007 Sustainable Deal of the Year in the Financial Times Sustainable Banking Awards.
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).
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.
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.
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