GAVI has had remarkable success towards achieving Millennium Development Goal 4 - to reduce child mortality - and is at the forefront of innovative approaches to health financing including the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm).
IFFIm is an important element in achieving broader health impacts on the lives of those in the world's poorest countries. Recognising how critical this work is, Australia is committing $250 million over 20 years to IFFIm, which places Australia among the top 10 contributors to GAVI's efforts.
Unique and invaluable component of GAVI's campaign
The Australian Government is expected to spend $1.6 billion to improve maternal and child health by 2015. Both our direct support to GAVI, and our additional support to IFFIm, demonstrates Australia's belief that IFFIm has proved itself a unique and invaluable component of GAVI's innovative, cost-effective campaign to prevent children dying from largely preventable diseases.
IFFIm has generated additional and more predictable funds for immunisation, meaning fewer children have to miss out on life-saving vaccines. The IFFIm financing work alleviates problems developing countries' face in being able to buy vaccines, and plan and carry out immunisation programmes.
IFFIm's unique approach
Australia welcomes the findings of the independent evaluation of IFFIm, which show that IFFIm is a robust, flexible innovative financing model. IFFIm's unique approach has given donors the opportunity to contribute additional support for immunisation by spreading the cost over a long period.
Of great interest to Australia is IFFIm's proven capacity to achieve impacts beyond those specifically targeted for immunisation. Although much of GAVI's health systems support has appropriately been immunisation-specific, strengthened systems can also provide a platform for the delivery of health services as a whole, fitting well with Australia's health aid focus of working with countries and partners to help build their health systems.
Mr Rudd signed the $250 million commitment in the presence of GAVI Interim CEO Helen Evans in Canberra on 22 March 2011.