06 Dec 2013


Social Europe & Jobs

Press release

GENEVA, 6 December 2013 – Following the death of Nelson Mandela, Dagfinn Høybråten, Chair of the GAVI Alliance Board, and Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI Alliance, issued the following statements:

 Dagfinn Høybråten said:

 “Nelson Mandela’s vision, determination and leadership were central to driving children’s health to the top of the international agenda. In the first years of our existence, he helped GAVI to increase access to vaccines for hundreds of millions of children in the world’s poorest countries. His example and integrity will continue to inspire our work.

 “As the inaugural Chair of the Vaccine Fund Board, President Mandela rallied other world leaders and helped secure funding that has enabled GAVI to reach millions of children in some of the most remote and challenging parts of the world with vaccines against serious childhood illnesses.

 “On behalf of the GAVI Alliance, I extend our deep and sincere condolences to Graça Machel and to all of Nelson Mandela’s family and friends.”

 Dr Seth Berkley said:

 “Among his many inspiring qualities, Nelson Mandela was one of the world’s foremost champions for children’s health. Today, together with millions of people in South Africa and around the world, I mourn the passing of a great man, one of my personal heroes – and a great advocate for children.

 “I have personally had the honour to meet Nelson Mandela a number of times over the last decade and I will cherish each and every one of those encounters. I was also honoured to receive an honorary doctorate from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in April of this year where his legacy was celebrated.

 “Together with his extraordinary wife Graça Machel, Nelson Mandela continued to be an outspoken advocate for children’s health and immunisation and his support for GAVI’s mission has helped us to reach children who would otherwise not have had access to vaccines.

 “I join the GAVI Board Chair in extending deep and sincere condolences to Graça Machel and to all of Nelson Mandela’s family and friends, as well as the people of South Africa.”



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GAVI Alliance

The GAVI Alliance is a public-private partnership committed to saving children’s lives and protecting people’s health by increasing access to immunisation in developing countries. The Alliance brings together developing country 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. GAVI uses innovative finance mechanisms, including co-financing by recipient countries, to secure sustainable funding and adequate supply of quality vaccines. Since 2000, GAVI has contributed to the immunisation of an additional 440 million children and the prevention of approximately 6 million future deaths. Learn more at and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.


GAVI is funded by governments [Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Korea, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States], the European Commission, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as private and corporate partners [Absolute Return for Kids, Anglo American plc., The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Comic Relief, Dutch Postcode Lottery, His Highness Sheikh Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, JP Morgan, “la Caixa” Foundation, LDS Charities, Lions Clubs, OPEC and Vodafone].


Media Contacts:

Rob Kelly

GAVI Geneva

tel. +41 22 909 2978

cell. +41 79 745 2031