United Nations Foundation President Timothy E. Wirth welcomed today the announcement by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that it would commit $10 billion to research, develop, and deliver life-saving vaccines over the next decade.
“The Gates Foundation’s commitment sends a clear message that investment in immunizations is one of the smartest ways to save and improve millions of lives in developing countries. Vaccines have consistently proven to be the most cost-effective method for preventing diseases worldwide.
“It is unacceptable that nearly 9 million children under five years of age die from preventable diseases. Though not all diseases are vaccine-preventable, some of the top killers of children under five—pneumonia, diarrhea, and measles—can be stopped.
“We agree that there is an urgent need to support these efforts worldwide, and are helping the United Nations and governments conduct measles and polio vaccination campaigns. The strategy is working. These efforts have reduced the number of polio endemic countries from 30 to four, and reduced measles deaths globally by 78 percent. Increased funding will give children across the globe a chance to lead happy, healthy lives.”
About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. We build and implement public/private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and work to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach. Through our campaigns and partnerships, we connect people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The campaigns we conduct reduce child mortality, empower women and girls, create a new energy future, secure peace and human rights, and promote technology innovation to improve health outcomes. For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.
Amy DiElsi 202-419-3230
Aaron Sherinian 202-778-1622