|© GAVI Alliance/Ben Fisher|
|UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake attends the pledging conference of GAVI Alliance donors in London, United Kingdom. With an extra $4.3 billion in funds committed, it is estimated a further four million children's lives will be saved by 2015.|
LONDON, United Kingdom, 13 June 2011 – UNICEF, a founding partner of the Global Alliance on Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI Alliance), today welcomed the commitment of $4.3 billion by donors at a fundraising conference in London to step up vaccination efforts over the next four years.
Global funds will save lives
“The outcome of this pledging conference is exciting and tremendous news which will save millions of lives of the most threatened children around the world,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake.
The GAVI Alliance, UNICEF and partners aim to save an additional four million children’s lives by 2015 by increasing access to new and traditional vaccines. Despite significant progress in reducing childhood mortality, nearly two million children still die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases.
Currently one in five children is not vaccinated. At the conference, UNICEF reiterated that the best use of funding for vaccines is to implement programmes that prioritize the hardest to reach children who currently miss out on these simple life-saving vaccines.
“UNICEF renews its pledge to redouble our own efforts to help governments and other partners deliver vaccines to the hardest to reach children,” said Mr. Lake. UNICEF already supplies vaccines to nearly 60 per cent of the world’s children and works in more than 150 countries.
As the leading vaccine procurement agency in the world, UNICEF is in the unique position of being involved at every stage of the immunization process, from securing funding by working with partners, donors and recipient governments, to coordinating with manufacturers to ensure that supplies meet vaccine needs.
UNICEF also plays a key role in purchasing and transporting vaccines, training health workers and galvanizing local communities to make sure every child is immunized. In 2010, UNICEF purchased around 2.53 billion doses of traditional and new vaccines worth $750 million on behalf of GAVI and developing countries.
Lower vaccine pricing
In an effort to improve transparency around vaccine supply, UNICEF recently made public the prices it pays for individual vaccines. As the largest buyer of children’s vaccines, this move is in line with UNICEF’s commitment to ensure that vaccine supply is sustainable and affordable.
“A competitive and sustainable market that achieves greater vaccine security is in the best interest of children, especially the poorest and most vulnerable," said Shanelle Hall, Director of UNICEF Supply Division. “The commitments expressed today by industry help assure us that we can look forward to lower vaccine prices, which will enable more and more children to have access to vaccines that could save their lives."
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