Comic Relief increases its grant to GAVI

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Total of £5 million thanks to Sport Relief and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 

Geneva, 30 March 2012 Comic Relief, on the heels of its record-breaking Sport Relief fundraising campaign, will increase its grant to GAVI by £1 million, bringing it to £5 million (about US$ 8 million) in total.

The grant, made through the GAVI Matching Fund, includes £2.5 million raised through Sport Relief and £2.5 million matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Raising awareness about vaccines

“This year’s Sport Relief was the biggest ever,” says Comic Relief CEO Kevin Cahill, who first announced a partnership with GAVI in January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “A major focus of our fundraising messaging was the need for vaccines for children in Africa. These stories helped raise millions and vital awareness for this important issue.”

Comic Relief’s grant will go toward life-saving vaccines for poor children in sub-Saharan Africa.

This year’s Sport Relief has raised more than £52 million so far, mostly from the British public. The campaign included a fun run by GAVI supporters in Washington, DC, as well as powerful stories about children and immunisation, with highlights including:

Cost-effective

“Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective ways of saving and improving children’s lives – in fact, they are one of the smartest development aid investments the world can make,” says Joe Cerrell, director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Europe.

Under the GAVI Matching Fund, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match up to US$ 50 million donated by private-sector organisations, their employees, members, business partners and customers. The British Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) is making a similar match of up to £50 million in pledges by UK organisations.

See also

Thanks Comic Relief - appreciation letter from GAVI Board Chair

73 countries

Gavi support is available to the 73 poorest countries in the world. By the end of 2013, 22 countries were projected to graduate from Gavi’s support by 2020.

Gavi

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