- The Gavi Civil Society Organization (CSO) Constituency is a diverse group made up of over 4,000 CSOs from around the world aimed at ensuring that every child and person is reached with immunization.
- As Gavi CSO host, Amref Health Africa will mobilize and support civil society organizations working to strengthen health systems and deliver immunization services to underserved communities.
- Amref Health Africa is the first organization located in a lower-middle-income country to host the CSO platform.
Nairobi, Kenya – April 27, 2022: As part of this year’s World Immunization Week, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Amref Health Africa, and the Gavi Civil Society Organization (CSO) Steering Committee announced a new partnership to harness the full potential of civil society to deliver on Gavi’s ambitious mission to leave no one behind with immunization.
The announcement builds on the momentum created by a Gavi Board-approved initiative to support and empower civil society organizations and communities to identify and reach underserved and missed communities. This includes a requirement for all countries supported by Gavi to allocate at least 10 per cent of their combined Health System Strengthening (HSS), Equity Accelerator Funding (EAF) and Targeted Country Assistance (TCA) ceilings for activities undertaken by CSO partners.
The decision makes Amref Health Africa the first organization located in a lower-middle-income country to host the CSO platform. Additionally, the coordination of these activities from Kenya – a country that is eligible for Gavi support – is a unique opportunity to meaningfully include communities and their representatives in the design and implementation of immunization policies and programs.
“Civil society organizations play an essential role in supporting communities and health systems, and Amref has been at the core of working with different governments to increase sustainable health access to communities that would otherwise miss out on these essential services,” said Dr. Githinji Gitahi, Group Chief Executive Officer, Amref Health Africa. “Hosting the Gavi CSO Constituency is an exciting opportunity for Amref to support the overall global immunization agenda – IA2030 – by expanding and deepening civil society engagement with key stakeholders, including government leaders, multilateral partners, private sector organizations and grassroots communities.”
“Civil society organizations are critical to reaching the most marginalized, as they understand the specific needs and context of these populations and have the trust and confidence of the communities we are trying to serve,” said Anuradha Gupta, Deputy CEO, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “We are counting on Amref and civil society partners to help us strengthen political commitment and accountability, build trust in vaccines, and support the delivery of immunization services so that no one is left behind.”
Amref will offer strategic advisory services to the Gavi CSO Steering Committee and support capacity building efforts promoted by the Gavi Secretariat across the CSO Constituency for country-led engagement and implementation. Amref will also ensure there is coordination between the Gavi Secretariat, the Gavi CSO Steering Committee and the Constituency and will manage communications on key and relevant issues for the civil society immunization community.
“No community should be left behind. The Gavi Civil Society Constituency is excited by the partnership between Gavi and Amref – the first Southern Hemisphere host for the Gavi CSO Steering Committee. The Gavi 5.0 agenda is ambitious, and we are fully committed to its success,” said Dr. Sheetal Sharma, current Chair of the Gavi CSO Steering Committee. “Civil Society will continue to amplify the community voices and work with all partners at global, regional, national, and subnational levels to ensure immunization remains a core intervention to deliver the existing global health goals,” she added.
Amref’s hosting appointment is effective from January 1, 2022 for a period of three years ending 2024.
Notes to Editors
The selection of Amref Health Africa as the new Gavi Civil Society Organization (CSO) host follows a competitive process, beginning with a Request for Proposals published on the Gavi website on July 14, 2021. The final selection was made by consensus by members of the Gavi secretariat and the Gavi CSO Steering Committee/Constituency.
The Gavi CSO Constituency and its Steering Committee are independent of the Gavi Civil Society Organization (CSO) hosts and have appointed members for representation. Amref succeeds the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) which completed its hosting term on December 31, 2021 after 10 years.
About Amref Health Africa
Amref Health Africa, headquartered in Kenya, is the largest Africa-based International Non-Governmental Organization (INGO). With a focus on increasing sustainable health access, Amref runs programmes in over 35 countries in Africa, with lessons learnt from over 60 years of engagement with governments, communities and partners. Amref Health Africa also engages in programme development, fundraising, partnership, advocacy, monitoring and evaluation, and has offices in Europe and North America as well as subsidiaries: AMREF Flying Doctors, Amref Enterprises and the Amref International University.
Amref Health Africa is lauded as one of the largest African-based international health development agencies with extensive skill, knowledge, and experience in the health development space.
About Gavi CSO Constituency
The Gavi CSO constituency is made up of over 450 members CSOs from across the globe. Current Gavi CSO Constituency organizations range from large international and regional NGOs to local and national CSOs. The Constituency also includes a growing number of national paediatric associations and NGO consortiums as well as more technical- and service-delivery oriented agencies. The Gavi-supported national CSO platforms for immunization and health systems form an important foundation for the CSO Constituency. Country-level platforms or networks are members of the Gavi Civil Society Constituency.
About Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership that helps vaccinate half the world’s children against some of the world’s deadliest diseases. Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has helped to immunize a whole generation – over 888 million children – and prevented more than 15 million future deaths, helping to halve child mortality in 73 lower-income countries. Gavi also plays a key role in improving global health security by supporting health systems as well as funding global stockpiles for Ebola, cholera, meningitis and yellow fever vaccines. After two decades of progress, Gavi is now focused on protecting the next generation and reaching zero dose children remaining deprived of even a single vaccine shot still being left behind, employing innovative finance and the latest technology – from drones to biometrics – to save millions more lives, prevent outbreaks before they can spread and help countries on the road to self-sufficiency. Learn more at www.gavi.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
The Vaccine Alliance brings together developing countries and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private sector partners. View the full list of donor governments and other leading organizations that fund Gavi’s work here.
Elizabeth (Lizz) Ntonjira
Global Communication Director
Amref Health Africa
+254 719 369 730
Communications Director, Amref Health Africa in Canada
+1 647-771-5815 (mobile)
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
+41 79 913 94 41