Atletico Madrid partners with “la Caixa” to support GAVI programmes

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Funds raised from fans, partners under GAVI Matching Fund will be doubled 

Atletico Madrid

Spanish football club Atletico Madrid announces its membership in the Business Alliance for Child Vaccination. From left are “la Caixa” Foundation Deputy CEO Jaime Giro, Atletico Madrid President Enrique Cerezo and GAVI Alliance Board Chair Dagfinn Høybråten holding up Atletico Madrid star striker Radamel Falcao's shirt. Photo credit: Obra Social "la Caixa".

Madrid, 13 April 2012 – Atletico Madrid, the powerhouse Spanish football club, is using its immense popularity to promote immunisation through GAVI by joining the Business Alliance for Child Vaccination.

The Business Alliance is the brainchild of the “la Caixa” Foundation – a founding partner of the GAVI Matching Fund – to promote the involvement of Spanish companies in the cause of immunisation. Atletico Madrid becomes the 159th member of the Business Alliance, which in four years has raised €864,208 (US$ 1.14 million) toward child immunisation through GAVI.

Radamel Falcao

Atletico Madrid star striker Radamel Falcao also is lending his popularity to the cause of childhood immunisation, serving as the representative of the Business Alliance.

"Vaccines equal life, hope and the possibility for children to have a healthy life,” Atletico Madrid President Enrique Cerezo, said at a press conference today at Vicente Calderon Stadium. “We are honoured to become part of this alliance, and we are committed to continue making a difference. Together we make a bigger team."

The Business Alliance

All funds Atletico Madrid contributes and raises from football fans and the general public for the Business Alliance will be matched through by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the GAVI Matching Fund.

“La Caixa” itself has donated €4 million (US$ 5.3 million) through the Matching Fund to buy pneumococcal vaccine for GAVI-supported countries in Latin America. And overall, “la Caixa” Foundation has contributed €14 million (US$ 18.5 million) to GAVI, including from “la Caixa” employees, making it GAVI’s largest corporate donor.

Atletico Madrid Falcao

“The best results are achieved by adding up our efforts, says Jaime Giro, Executive Director of “la caixa” and Deputy CEO of the Fundación la Caixa. “It is an honour to count on a member such as Atletico Madrid that can reach so many people. Only with their support can we hope to reach as many people as they reach in each game.”

Critically important leadership

“Atletico Madrid and Falcao are demonstrating critically important leadership,” says GAVI Alliance Board Chair Dagfinn Høybråten. “They will highlight to millions the importance of immunisation and the need for using public-private collaboration to bring innovative solutions like the GAVI Matching Fund to bear in funding child vaccination.”

Under the GAVI Matching Fund, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match up to US$ 50 million donated by private-sector organisations such as “la Caixa” Foundation, their employees, customers and business partners, such as Atletico Madrid. The British Government is making a similar match of up to £50 million in pledges by other private sector organisations.

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