Donors Commit Vaccine Funding to Achieve Historic Milestone in Global Health

By Gavi The Global Alliance For Vaccines And Immunisation, PRNE
Sunday, June 12, 2011

LONDON, June 13, 2011 -

- GAVI Alliance Poised to IMMUNISE More Than 250 Million
in Developing Countries by 2015

Major public and private donors achieved a milestone in global
health today by committing funding to immunise more than 250
million of the world’s poorest children against life-threatening
diseases by 2015 and prevent more than four million premature

     (Photo:  href=""> )

Donors committed US$ 4.3 billion at the first pledging
conference held by the GAVI Alliance. This exceeds an initial
target of $3.7 billion, enabling GAVI to reach more children faster
than planned and to accelerate the introduction of new vaccines. A
portion of the pledges are conditional upon GAVI raising additional
funds from new donors in the future. Today’s pledges bring GAVI’s
total available resources for the period 2011 to 2015 to $ 7.6

The increased support is timely. GAVI recently reported a record
50 countries applied for vaccine funding during the Alliance’s
latest application round - nearly double the previous record in
2007. This new support will allow GAVI to fully fund approved

 ”Today is an important moment in our collective commitment
to protecting children in developing countries from disease,” said
President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. “But every 20 seconds,
a child still dies of a vaccine-preventable disease. There’s more
work to be done.”

The meeting convened prime ministers, ministers and high-level
officials from donor and developing countries, leaders of UN
Agencies, CEOs from private companies and senior civil society
leaders to make commitments to support GAVI’s life-saving work. The
meeting was hosted by the governments of the United Kingdom and
Liberia and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Governments more than doubled their previous commitments and new
donors will also give for the first time, including Japan and
Brazil. GAVI’s largest corporate donor, “la Caixa” Foundation,
extended its financial commitment and new donors Anglo American plc
and Absolute Return for Kids (ARK) made their first pledges.

Developing countries committed to maintain or increase the
co-financing of their vaccine programmes and leverage the
partnership to immunise their children. GAVI estimates that the
total level of co-financing will triple to US$ 100 million by
2015. Vaccine manufacturers announced last week they will
contribute by offering lower prices on a range of life-saving
vaccines supported by GAVI, including a two-thirds reduction on the
rotavirus vaccine, which combats the leading cause of diarrhea
deaths. Co-financing and lower prices will enhance the
sustainability of immunisation programmes.

“GAVI was one of the very top performers in our root-and-branch
review of the agencies that deliver British aid because it
demonstrates tangible results. Britain will play its full part and
our support to GAVI will help vaccinate over 80 million children
and save 1.4 million lives. That’s one child vaccinated every two
seconds for five years,” said David Cameron, UK Prime Minister.

“For the first time in history, children in developing countries
will receive the same vaccines against diarrhea and pneumonia as
children in rich countries,” said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill
& Melinda Gates Foundation. “Together we must do more to ensure
that all children - no matter where they live - have equal access
to life-saving vaccines.”

Conference participants agreed that the momentum to reach more
children with vaccines must be maintained and they encouraged GAVI
to expand coverage of immunization programmes and accelerate the
introduction of new vaccines. It was also recognized that vaccine
manufacturers should continue to deliver and expand on their
promises to reduce vaccine prices and provide greater access, while
the countries themselves should continue to meet their co-financing
commitments. Participants also agreed to meet in two years time to
review GAVI’s progress in immunization and resource

“Today was a vote a confidence for GAVI. But it was also a
challenge to us: to keep delivering on our mission and to do even
more. Nearly two million children die from vaccine-preventable
diseases every year. The day will come when malaria and other
killer diseases can be beaten with a simple shot in the arm. We
must prepare for that day. Working with partners, GAVI will need to
continue to raise the necessary resources to tackle all
vaccine-preventable diseases,” said GAVI Alliance Board Chair
Dagfinn Høybråten.

The GAVI Alliance is a Geneva-based public-private partnership
aimed at improving health in the world’s poorest countries. The
Alliance brings together developing country and donor governments,
the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine
industry in both industrialised and developing countries, research
and technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation and other private philanthropists.

GAVI support consists of providing life-saving vaccines and
strengthening health systems. In its first decade of work, GAVI has
financed the immunisation of more than 288 million children and
prevented more than five million premature deaths.

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