Germany increases funding for GAVI to €30 million

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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match last two increases

Berlin/Geneva, 26 May 2011 - Germany said on Wednesday it will contribute €30 million to the GAVI Alliance in 2012, up from €20 million in 2011, to support childhood immunisation in developing countries.

GAVI is doing an excellent job and has financed the immunisation of more than 280 million children in the last decade. We have therefore increased our contributions to €20 million in 2011, a fivefold increase compared with previous years.

Gudrun Kopp, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development

The announcement from Germany's Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) was made ahead of the G8 summit due to start later this week and is part of a plan to implement last year's G8 commitment to the Muskoka initiative for maternal and child health.

"An important part of the G8 Muskoka implementation is to work more closely with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, GAVI," Gudrun Kopp, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, said in a press release.

"GAVI is doing an excellent job and has financed the immunisation of more than 280 million children in the last decade. We have therefore increased our contributions to €20 million in 2011, a fivefold increase compared with previous years," she said. "I am happy to announce that we are planning another increase to €30 million in 2012."

Germany has been supporting the GAVI Alliance since 2006 when it gave an annual contribution of €4 million.

Helen Evans, Interim CEO of the GAVI Alliance welcomed the announcement which comes just ahead of GAVI's pledging conference on 13 June when more than 20 major donors will meet to contribute towards GAVI's 2011-2015 programme.

If GAVI raises the additional US$ 3.7 billion it needs, it will be able to finance the immunisation of 243 million children between now and 2015 in order to prevent four million premature deaths.

"We are delighted to see this very welcome additional support from Germany, which comes at a crucial moment for us," said Ms Evans. "Immunisation is an extremely cost-effective way to save lives and protect health on a very large scale indeed," she said.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has offered to match the 2011 and 2012 increases with a €24 million contribution of its own.

"Ahead of next month's GAVI Pledging Conference, it is great to see Germany leading the way with a further commitment to making more life-saving vaccines available to those living in the developing world," Joe Cerrell, European Director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said.

"Immunisation is one of the best long-term investments we can make to prevent disease and give children a healthy start in life.  The foundation will continue to partner with Germany by matching the increase by Germany over their previous year's contribution to help save millions of lives in the years ahead," he said.

"We are very pleased to see these increases over the last couple of years and very grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the catalytic effect of their match," said Dagfinn Høybråten, Chair of the GAVI Alliance Board. "We look forward to further engagement from Germany as we roll out new vaccines which can help address the two biggest killers of children - pneumonia and diarrhoea."

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