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Funds for immunization will save lives

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© UNICEF/HQ00-0037/Holmes
EAST TIMOR: On 22 January, a girl is immunized against measles by a UNICEF-assisted mobile vaccination team covering villages close to Dili, the capital, as other children stand in line waiting their turn.

NEW YORK, 9 September 2005 – Nearly 30 million children go without immunization each year. But today a new plan of action may help ensure these children get the vaccines they need. 

The United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain and Sweden have committed nearly $4 billion to support and scale up the work of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) over the next decade.

These long-term, unprecedented financial commitments to the International Finance Facility for Immunization (IFFIm) will enable GAVI to bring lifesaving vaccines to millions of the world’s children.

In addition, global philanthropist, Microsoft’s Bill Gates announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will contribute $750 million over 10 years to The Vaccine Fund – the financial arm of GAVI. The funds will be provided alongside the resources from Government donors to the IFFIm.

This plan may save the lives of 10 million children in developing countries from deaths by diseases like measles, polio, hepatitis B, tetanus, and diphtheria. Illnesses caused by these diseases make up more than half of all illnesses in the poorer countries – nine times the level in the richest countries.

An alliance of all the major stakeholders in immunisation circles, GAVI includes partners in developing countries and donor governments, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry in both industrialised and developing countries, research and technical agencies, NGOs, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


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