The global effort to reach every child with life-saving vaccines received a tremendous boost this week, as donors committed more than $7.5 billion to Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance. These commitments will help Gavi immunize an additional 300 million children in the coming years and save an estimated 6 million lives, working closely with key United Nations partners such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The $7.5 billion pledged comes from a range of governments, the European Commission, and a number of foundations and private sector partners. The U.S. has pledged $1 billion between now and 2018, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a five-year $1.55 billion commitment.
“Today is a great day for children in the world’s poorest countries who will now receive the life-saving vaccines they need,” said Bill Gates at the pledging conference, held in Berlin. “We believe in the next 15 years, poor people’s lives will improve faster than any other period in history and that access to vaccines provided by Gavi are critical to making that happen.”
Over the past several months, the United Nations Foundation and the Shot@Life campaign have been among a diverse group of partners that have advocated for fully funding Gavi. Grassroots supporters of global immunization helped raise awareness about the importance of Gavi’s work and encouraged governments to give liberally to the cause of bringing vaccines to children everywhere.
“We believe that vaccines should reach every child because this is one of the most effective ways of reducing preventable deaths in the poorest countries, “said Dagfinn Høybråten, Chair of the Gavi Board. “The commitments made [in Berlin] will ensure Gavi can make a telling contribution towards the global community’s goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030.”
Congratulations to Gavi and its partners on a remarkable achievement, which puts The Alliance on the path to achieving its ambitious goals for 2016-2020 and improving the health and wellbeing of hundreds of millions of children.