ACTION began advocating for vaccines in 2011 at a critical time for promoting equitable access to health for children under five. Our first priority was to assist the GAVI Alliance in raising the resources necessary to expand access to new life-saving vaccines against the leading killers of children under five in the world’s poorest countries. In its first 10 years of operating, GAVI has saved 5 million lives from vaccine-preventable deaths and shaped vaccine markets to bring the price of vaccines down to a fraction of what they once were.
ACTION worked with GAVI and its allies to raise support from donor governments during its 2011 pledging meeting, hosted by U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron. The purpose of the meeting was to secure enough resources from donors – $3.7 billion – to support GAVI’s efforts through 2015. The pledging meeting exceeded all expectations raising $4.3 billion in pledges – $2.5 billion of it from ACTION countries. These resources will support GAVI to immunize over 250 million children and prevent more than 4 million premature deaths by 2015.
Over several months leading up to the pledging, ACTION met with parliamentarians and members of Congress in Australia, Canada, France, Japan, the E.C., the U.K., and the U.S. and educated them about the benefits of investing in GAVI. We generated media coverage with the support of our grassroots volunteers that illustrated the importance of boosting immunization rates around the world. We also worked in coalitions with other civil society organizations to ask our governments to make fair contributions to GAVI.
Reporting on the success of the replenishment meeting, GAVI’s interim CEO Helen Evans wrote:
We were superbly supported by a coordinated global advocacy campaign, underpinned by civil society organisations and networks. … ONE.org, Save the Children, and [ACTION partner] RESULTS deserve our particular thanks.
Photo credit: Riccardo Gangale