Ambassador King Meets with Dr. Seth Berkley, new GAVI Alliance Head

Ambassador King Meets with Dr. Seth Berkley

Ambassador Betty King met with Dr. Seth Berkley, the new Chief Executive Officer of the GAVI Alliance at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Geneva August 26 to discuss the partnership between the United States and GAVI.

Dr Berkley, a Harvard-trained physician and CDC-trained epidemiologist, joined GAVI this summer after 15 years leading the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI).

The US Government has been closely engaged with the GAVI Alliance since its creation in 2000.  In addition to its financial contributions to GAVI over the past 11 years totaling almost $825 million, the US has been an active member of the GAVI Alliance Board and also serves on a number of program and technical advisory committees.  Ms. Amie Batson, DAA in the USAID Global Health Bureau, serves as the US Representative on the Board.

In June of 2011, the US Government joined a number of other public and private donors at the GAVI Alliance Pledging Conference, hosted by Prime Minister Cameron in London.  The goal of the conference, which was met, was to secure the resources necessary to introduce and administer a number of new vaccines in more than 50 of the world’s poorest countries by 2015. More than $4 billion was pledged and Dr. Raj Shah, representing the US, announced new support of $450m over three years. If this level is appropriated, it would bring US support to GAVI to $1.2 billion by FY2014.

These pledged resources will be used to procure and deliver to these countries the Pentavalent, Pneumococcal and Rotavirus vaccines.  More children in the developing world die of pneumonia and diarrhea caused by the rotavirus than any other cause.