IFFIm rating action by Standard & Poor’s follows sovereign donor downgrades

Standard & Poor’s downgrades the International Finance Facility for Immunisation Company by one notch from AAA to AA+

Washington DC, 17 January 2012 - Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has downgraded the International Finance Facility for Immunisation Company (IFFIm) by one notch from AAA to AA+ with a negative outlook, following S&P’s rating actions announced on 13 January 2012, for euro zone countries that provide grants to IFFIm.

Rating associated with largest grantors

S&P earlier stated in an analysis of IFFIm that it considers IFFIm’s credit rating to be closely associated with the rating of its largest grantors. France is IFFIm’s second-largest grantor, representing about 25% of the outstanding present value of IFFIm’s total grants. In all, euro zone countries represent about 39% of grants to IFFIm. The largest grantor to IFFIm is the UK (rated AAA/Aaa/AAA), representing 48% of IFFIm's total grants.

IFFIm is currently rated Aaa by Moody's; AAA by Fitch, which updated IFFIm’s outlook to negative on 19 December 2011 when it changed France’s outlook to negative; and AA+ by S&P with negative outlook.

MDGs

IFFIm was created in 2006 to help the international community achieve the Millennium Development Goals. IFFIm's financial base consists of legally binding grant payments from its sovereign grantors (the UK, France, Italy, Norway, Australia, Spain, The Netherlands, Sweden and South Africa). IFFIm has about US$ 6.3 billion in legally-binding payment obligations from its donors and has raised US$ 3.6 billion in the capital markets.

The World Bank was appointed as the Treasury Manager for IFFIm and acts as agent to IFFIm to manage IFFIm's finances according to conservative policies and standards. IFFIm will continue to comply with these policies to support its financial strength and mission.

More details on IFFIm’s financial position, including the latest rating agency publications, are available under the bond documentation page.

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 in over 50 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 (Australia, France, Italy, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands and the UK), on the basis of which IFFIm is rated AAA (negative) /Aaa (stable) /AA+ (negative) (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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