EC makes further commitment to saving lives

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European Commission pledges 20 million Euros to increase vaccination in developing countries

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The EC grant will allow close to 40 GAVI-eligible countries in the African, Caribbean and Pacific region to benefit from the pentavalent vaccine, seen here being administered in Sierra Leone. Copyright: GAVI/09/Olivier Asselin

Geneva, 12 September 2011The European Commission (EC) gave a shot at a healthy life to children in Africa, and the Caribbean and Pacific regions today by committing an additional 20 million Euros to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI Alliance) to fund a life-saving vaccine against five deadly childhood diseases.

The grant comes at a time when GAVI is facing rising country demand for vaccines. 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.

Confidence in GAVI

“We are grateful for the European Commission’s confidence in GAVI. This donation, combined with the evident commitment from developing countries to expand immunisation programmes, will further support our efforts to protect children from death and disability,” said GAVI’s CEO Dr Seth Berkley

“All children have a right to a healthy start in life and vaccination is critical to this.” 

Continuing commitment

Immunisation is one of the best buys in global health. Partnering with GAVI which plays a key role in fighting child mortality is part of our action to foster the achievement of the MDGs.

European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs

Following the long term financing delivered at GAVI’s first pledging conference in June, where an additional US$ 4.3 billion was committed to its immunisation programmes, this extra EC donation illustrates the continuing commitment of major international donors to ensuring that all children have equal access to life-saving vaccines, wherever they are born. 

“Every child deserves to be protected against disease with vaccines, no matter whether it is born in Europe, Africa or elsewhere in the world,” said European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs. 

Best buys in global health

Immunisation is one of the best buys in global health. Partnering with GAVI which plays a key role in fighting child mortality is part of our action to foster the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.” 

GAVI’s significant progress in protecting children with vaccines is key to global efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals and specifically MDG 4 which aims to reduce under-five child mortality by two-thirds by 2015. 

According to WHO figures, the GAVI Alliance has prevented more than five million deaths since it began in 2000 by accelerating access to new and underused vaccines in developing countries.

Pledging conference

The grant brings the total EC contributions and pledges to an equivalent of US$ 115 million for the period 2003-2012. This total includes today’s €20 million plus the €10 million recently committed at the GAVI pledging conference. 

Today’s grant, financed in agreement with the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, will allow close to 40 GAVI-eligible countries in the region to benefit from the pentavalent vaccine which provides protection against five diseases in one injection. This 5-in-1 vaccine helps to lower shipping costs, limits waste and environmental impact, and reduces the number of injections needed – making it easier, quicker and safer to deliver the vaccine. 

In 2010 alone, some 28 million children were immunised with pentavalent vaccine with support from the GAVI Alliance.

GAVI donors

GAVI’s donors include 19 national governments of which 10 are European member states, in addition to the EC, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other corporate and private donors. 

Thanks to donors and partners, the GAVI Alliance plans to immunise over a quarter of a billion children against life-threatening diseases by 2015 and prevent another four million future deaths.

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