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Gavi, Unilever Lifebuoy and The Power of Nutrition join forces in tripartite immunisation, handwashing and nutrition programme to tackle preventable diseases

Davos Gavi TPON breakfast
  • Gavi’s first multisectoral private sector partnership to include nutrition as part of holistic approach to disease prevention
  • Groundbreaking partnership will raise awareness of the power of combining immunisation, handwashing with soap and nutrition to accelerate child survival efforts in Indonesia
  • The US$ 8 million programme will reach over 1 million Indonesian children in areas with a high burden of malnutrition and vaccine-preventable diseases

Davos, 19 January 2023 – Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Unilever’s germ-protecting soap brand Lifebuoy and The Power of Nutrition, a global charitable foundation advancing the fight against malnutrition, have launched an innovative multisectoral partnership to protect young children from illnesses, malnutrition and premature death in Indonesia.

The partnership aims to reach over 1 million Indonesian children aged under five in multiple provinces, including West Java and South Kalimantan. Highlighting the combined benefits of immunisation, handwashing with soap and nutrition, the programme will be implemented in urban and rural areas with a high burden of stunting and incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases.

The new programme will build upon lessons learned from the successful Safal Shuruaat partnership between Gavi and Unilever in rural India, which raised awareness and drove behaviour change among parents towards hygiene and early childhood vaccination. The programme saw a five-fold increase in incidental handwashing with soap and significant increase in routine immunisation against diseases such as rubella, measles and rotavirus. This latest initiative will adapt the approach to align with the needs and challenges of communities in West Java and South Kalimantan where access to vaccines and clean water is available, yet optimal handwashing, nutrition and immunisation behaviours are not fully adopted.

Inadequate hand hygiene, malnutrition and infectious diseases together cause millions of preventable child deaths every year and contribute to a vicious cycle of poor health, stunted growth, poverty and exclusion. Among childhood diseases, pneumonia and diarrhoea are the two leading killers of children worldwide. In 2021, they were responsible for more than a quarter of the deaths that occurred in children under one year of age in Indonesia. While progress is being made with the introduction of rotavirus and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted routine immunisation in Indonesia, which saw basic infant coverage drop from 96.5% to 80.1% leaving 1.7 million children unvaccinated between 2019 and 2021.

Diarrhoea and pneumonia are two of the most devastating preventable illnesses which claim the lives of millions of children worldwide,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi. “Integrated interventions that begin at birth, including clean water and vaccines, can protect against these diseases. Gavi, Unilever Lifebuoy and The Power of Nutrition’s partnership is a great example of the public and private sectors working together to help prevent millions of unnecessary deaths and save the lives of the most vulnerable children.

Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi

I am delighted that Unilever and Gavi will be launching a healthy nutrition programme alongside our long-standing handwashing and childhood vaccine programmes, to give children in Indonesia the best start in life” said Hanneke Faber, President of Nutrition at Unilever. “Unilever has a long history of using our brands as a force for good. We've been working closely with partners to promote healthy lives and well-being, through behaviour change programmes focused on hygiene, sanitation and nutrition. Over the last decade, we have reached over a billion people with these programmes. Though we have made great progress, there is still more to do!

Hanneke Faber, President of Nutrition at Unilever

We’re thrilled to be joining forces with Gavi and Unilever for this new programme in Indonesia, adding the important focus of nutrition and complementing the work that we are already doing in the country,” said Simon Bishop, CEO of The Power of Nutrition. “The partnership paves the way for a longer-term collaboration that recognises the benefits of combining nutrition with vaccinations, targeting the most vulnerable ‘zero-dose’ children who also suffer from malnutrition. At The Power of Nutrition, we believe in the power of partnerships, and this is a great example of coming together to achieve greater results.

Simon Bishop, CEO of The Power of Nutrition.

Unilever’s initial investment in the programme was matched by the Government of the Netherlands through the Gavi Matching Fund, doubling the resources put towards the partnership, and in turn driving greater impact on the lives of children and their families. The programme has since attracted new donors, including The Power of Nutrition, whose contributions were also matched by the Government of the Netherlands, bringing the total investment to US$ 8 million.

The funds will be used to empower and educate parents and caregivers of young children to make simple, positive health choices around vaccination, HWWS (handwashing with soap), and infant and young child nutrition – using bespoke messaging tailored to mothers and fathers, community leaders and key influencers; as well as using mobile technology for cost-effective training, monitoring and targeted messaging based on the age and development stage of the child.



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 immunise a whole generation – over 981 million children – and prevented more than 16.2 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, meningococcal and yellow fever vaccines. After two decades of progress, Gavi is now focused on protecting the next generation, above all the zero-dose children who have not received even a single vaccine shot. The Vaccine Alliance employs 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 and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Gavi is a co-convener of COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, together with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. In its role, Gavi is focused on procurement and delivery for COVAX: coordinating the design, implementation and administration of the COVAX Facility and the Gavi COVAX AMC and working with its Alliance partners UNICEF and WHO, along with governments, on country readiness and delivery. The Vaccine 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. View the full list of donor governments and other leading organisations that fund Gavi’s work here.

About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Beauty & Wellbeing, Personal Care, Home Care, Nutrition and Ice Cream products, with sales in over 190 countries and products used by 3.4 billion people every day. We have 148,000 employees and generated sales of €52.4 billion in 2021.

Our vision is to be the global leader in sustainable business and to demonstrate how our purpose led, future-fit business model drives superior performance. We have a long tradition of being a progressive, responsible business.

The Unilever Compass, our sustainable business strategy, is set out to help us deliver superior performance and drive sustainable and responsible growth, while:

  • Improving the health of the planet;
  • Improving people's health, confidence and well-being;
  • and contributing to a fairer and more socially inclusive world.

For more information about Unilever and our brands, please visit

About Unilever Lifebuoy

Lifebuoy is the world’s number one selling germ protection soap, sold in nearly 100 countries. It is the fourth most chosen consumer goods brand in the world, aiming to make a difference by creating accessible hygiene products and promoting healthy hygiene habits.

First launched in the 1800s, Lifebuoy was introduced to fight the spread of cholera. Today, the brand runs one of the world's largest handwashing behaviour change interventions, having reached over 1 billion people1. In 2021, Lifebuoy has committed to reaching 500m people every year, a total of 5 billion by 2030.

Our programmes now span 30 countries, and we are working with over 40 partners to address cross-cutting issues that link to hygiene.

About The Power of Nutrition

The Power of Nutrition is a global charitable foundation that unites businesses, governments, investors, non-profits in a joint mission to end the cycle of malnutrition. Our innovative finance and partnership model maximises nutrition investments to make resources go further than any organisation could achieve alone.

We currently have 20 programmes in 15 countries with high rates of malnutrition across Africa and Asia. Each is aligned with national government plans, carefully designed to deliver impact at scale, and is based around a core set of evidence-based, high-impact interventions known to improve child, adolescent, and maternal nutrition.

To date, our programmes have enabled over 115 million women, children and adolescents to access essential nutrition interventions and services that are truly changing lives. Visit for more information on our work and how to partner with us.


Meghana Sharafudeen
+41 79 711 5554

Evan O’Connell
+33 6 17 57 21 26

Cirũ Kariũki
+41 79 913 94 41

Laura Shevlin
+ 41 79 529 92 87

Collins Weru Mwai
+25 078 783 66 38

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