New pledge at the Francophonie Summit will help protect millions of children from deadly diseases
November 28, 2914
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance today welcomed the announcement by Canada of a C$ 500 million contribution to support immunisation in developing countries between 2016 and 2020.
The new funding will support Gavi’s work to enable the world’s 73 poorest countries to immunise an additional 300 million children between 2016 and 2020, saving five to six million lives. This pledge will more than double Canada’s contribution to Gavi and means the country will have invested more than C$ 1 billion in the Vaccine Alliance by 2020.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced “a considerable contribution for immunisation” ahead of the Francophonie Summit during a visit to the Philippe Manguilen Senghor Health Clinic in Dakar, Senegal. He was joined by Senegalese Prime Minister Mohammed Dionne, Canadian Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie Christian Paradis and Gavi CEO Dr Seth Berkley to celebrate the introduction of rotavirus vaccine, which protects children against severe diarrhoea.
“Access to life-saving vaccines in developing countries is a critical element to saving millions of young lives,” said Prime Minister Harper. “Gavi can meet this goal with its next replenishment.”
“Canada’s strong commitment to Gavi will save the lives of children in developing countries,” said Dr Berkley. “We share Prime Minister Harper’s determination to see a world free from preventable deaths and we are playing our part by working to ensure that children have access to lifesaving vaccines no matter where they live.”
Canada has been a strong supporter of Gavi for more than a decade and has played a major role in supporting Vaccine Alliance partners to immunise 440 million children – including more than a hundred million children in the 31 Gavi-supported countries that are members of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) – between 2000 and 2013, saving six million lives.
Canada is also a major contributor to the Advance Market Commitment, an innovative finance mechanism that has enabled Gavi to make the latest pneumococcal vaccines available to developing countries just a year after they were introduced in industrialised countries. The vaccine protects against pneumococcal disease which is the main cause of pneumonia, the leading killer of children under the age of five worldwide.
Prime Minister Harper has singled out maternal, child and newborn health (MNCH) as Canada’s top development priority. At the G8 meeting in 2010 he launched the Muskoka Initiative which aims to save the lives of 1.3 million children and 64,000 mothers.
In May 2014, Canadian Prime Minister Harper convened a global summit in Toronto to ensure that MNCH remains a global priority after the 2015 deadline for the UN Millennium Development Goals. At the summit he called for continued political and financial investments in immunisation, health systems strengthening and other critical health interventions.
Gavi’s partners will gather in Berlin on 27 January 2015 for a pledging event hosted under the patronage of Chancellor Angela Merkel. The event will be an opportunity for donors to make financial pledges to ensure children are reached with vaccines through Gavi-supported programmes between 2016 and 2020.