British Airways launches campaign to fund immunisation

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GAVI Matching Fund member Comic Relief partners in Flying Start drive, including film shown on BA flights

London, 29 October 2012 — British Airways has launched a dynamic in-flight campaign to help raise funds for immunisation in developing countries – a collaboration with GAVI Matching Fund partner Comic Relief.

The campaign, part of British Airways’ Flying Start charity partnership with Comic Relief, is highlighted by a 1-minute film shown on each British Airways flight. It began earlier this month and runs through 15 March 2013, the date of Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day, a national fundraising drive when people “do something funny for money,” featuring a TV telethon.

Under Flying Start, British Airways cabin crews announce the campaign, providing passengers with collection envelopes to contribute funds for immunisation programmes, with a goal of providing life-saving vaccines to 100,000 children in Africa. The envelopes include a photo taken at a GAVI-supported project.

British Airways chief executive Keith Williams recently visited Ghana to see GAVI’s work firsthand.

All funds donated to GAVI by Comic Relief through projects such as Flying Start will be doubled by the UK Government under the GAVI Matching Fund. To date, Comic Relief has donated about US$ 8 million to GAVI, including the match.

Under the GAVI Matching Fund, the UK Government’s Department for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have pledged to match up to US$ 130 million donated by private-sector organisations, their employees and customers. Partners in the GAVI Matching Fund include Comic Relief, Absolute Return for Kids, Anglo American, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, J.P. Morgan, “la Caixa” Foundation and LDS Charities.

168 million

GAVI-supported vaccine campaigns have resulted in 100 million individuals being immunised against meningitis A and 68 million against yellow fever since 2000.

Meningitis A Conjugate Vaccine Immunizaton Campaign. Joint WHO/UNICEF 2011 Progress Report: January to December 2012. March 2013, p.3 | 2011 data. Yellow Fever Initiative. Joint WHO and UNICEF 2011 Progress Report Nov 2012, p.13, 15. 2012 data: Based on data from Epidemiology of Yellow Fever in the African Region: 2012 report. WHO Regional Office for Africa. April 2013, p.6.

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