GAVI’s David Ferreira: Private sector to boost vaccine supply-chain effectiveness

At this year’s Clinton Global Initiative, the GAVI Alliance announced a pair of new intiatives that aim to leverage private sector funds and expertise to improve delivery of vaccines worldwide.

“If you can imagine, a vaccine has to get from the point of manufacture — in India or Singapore or Belgium — to a kid in a remote rural area in Africa or Asia or Latin America, and it has to be cold all the way,” said David Ferreira, managing director of GAVI’s innovative finance department.

Maintaining that “cold chain” from manufacturing plant to rural clinic is just one of the challenges of maintaining the complex supply chain for vaccines, Ferreira told Devex Impact on the sidelines of the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in New York.

To tackle these challenges, GAVI launched a new Supply Chain Technical Improvement Facility, to be funded by private sector contributions. These contributions will be doubled in size via the already existing GAVI Matching Fund, through which the U.K. government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation match contributions.

GAVI is also founding a Supply Chain Centre of Excellence, in order to “incubate solutions” to problems ranging from bureaucratic inefficiency to outdated computer systems, according to the organization’s news release.  The release said GAVI is “in discussions” with several corporations to join the center.

Ferreira, who also discussed the potential to scale GAVI’s new partnership with Vodafone in Mozambique, said “the opportunity cost of not managing the global supply chain well is massive.”

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    Andrea Useem

    As Associate Editor and Content Director for Devex Impact, Andrea creates and manages cutting-edge content on the intersection of business and international development. An experienced multimedia journalist, Andrea served as leadership editor at the Washington Post and spent three years as a foreign correspondent in Eastern Africa reporting for publications including the Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News, and San Francisco Chronicle.

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