Last week saw GAVI’s Matching Fund receive a new boost to its funding.
The Dutch Postcode Lottery announced a €2.5 million donation to the fund, which will be matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – translating into a €5 million injection.
The Matching Fund is an innovative arrangement that was announced during the GAVI Pledging Conference back in June 2011.
Under the arrangement, contributions from the private sector are matched by the UK government or the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, up to a potential of £50 million and US$50 million respectively.
Progress and commitments
Save the Children has been monitoring commitments made at the Pledging Conference and last June – on the one year anniversary of the conference – we reported on progress made and highlighted what further action must be taken, including advancements on the Matching Fund.
Our briefing, One year on: Delivering on the promise of vaccines for all, found that despite progress made, less than 20% of the full potential of the Matching Fund had been raised.
Since then, we’re happy to see that LDS Charities, Vodafone, and now Dutch Postcode Lottery have come through with additional commitments.
This is a welcome string of announcements. Pressure, however, must be maintained.
Progress will need to be accelerated if the fund’s full (approximately US$260) potential is to be realised by 2015.
Reaching all children
Funding to GAVI is crucial to ensuring that vaccines reach the poorest countries.
However, as we push to ensure that donors follow through on their commitments and that private sector partners are rallied in support of GAVI’s mission, we must ensure that this support not only reaches the countries that need it the most, but that all children in these countries are reached with the immunisation and broader health services they need.
All actors, especially GAVI and those countries with high inequalities, must prioritise reducing inequalities in coverage so that no child is left behind.
And we must go further still. As we strive towards universal access to immunisation, we must ensure that this is integrated with other vital health services.
There’s currently a big push behind immunisation and we must use this momentum to drive equitable progress towards universal access to essential health services.
As posited in a recent blog by Simon Wright, could immunisation be the flagship for universal health coverage?