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Developing Countries: Health Services

Volume 468: debated on Thursday 6 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made by the International Finance Facility on immunisation bonds; and if he will make a statement. (170016)

The International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) has made impressive progress in its first year of implementation. In November 2006 IFFIm raised $1 billion from the international bond markets. Of the $1 billion raised, approximately $912 million will be disbursed by the end of 2007, through the GAVI Alliance (formerly the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation).

The GAVI Alliance is currently spending IFFIm funds in 43 of the poorest countries on immunisation activities to tackle vaccine-preventable diseases such as yellow fever, polio, measles, maternal and neonatal tetanus. IFFIm funds are also being spent on strengthening the health systems of these poor countries. Some of the early results achieved by the GAVI Alliance since 2006 through IFFIm’s funding have been:

Immunising more than 100 million children under the age of five against polio.

Helping poor countries target 26 million women with immunisation against maternal and neonatal tetanus by 2007 and early 2008.

Yellow fever immunisation activities in 12 West African countries that will strengthen health systems and support vaccine security and affordability to prevent approximately 687,000 deaths between now and 2050.