Gavi Raises $4.3 billion for Child Vaccines
The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) was pledged $4.3 billion on Monday by international donors to buy vaccines for children in poor nations. The alliance says the funding will allow over 250 million of the poorest kids in the world to be vaccinated against potential deadly diseases like pneumonia and diarrhoeal by 2015, which should help to prevent over 4 million premature deaths.
The money that was pledged came from governments, organisations and individuals from around the world, and the total is more than the $3.7 billion the alliance aimed to raise. British Prime Minister David Cameron says that his government is going to give $1.3 billion to GAVI. He defended the increase of spending on aid while the government has made deep spending cuts in the domestic sector.
Bill Gates, a billionaire philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft, helped to found GAVI a decade ago and is a major supporter of the alliance. As such, he has pledged an extra $1 billion to the alliance over the next 5 years. He has also praised donations from governments and their taxpayers, calling it human generosity at its finest. Kids in developing countries will, for the first time, get the same vaccines as those in rich nations, he added.
GAVI said that it has helped to prevent over 5 million deaths among kids in the last 10 years through its immunisation programmes. Studies published last week showed that 90% of the kids in over 70 poor countries supported by the alliance were fully immunised. The alliance funds bulk purchases of childhood vaccines for disease such as: pneumonia, pneumococcal, diphtheria, tetanus, rotavirus, measles, whooping cough or pertussis, and Haemphilus influenza type B.