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 deaths.
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 billion.
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 applications.
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. 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 diarrhoea 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.