GAVI receives strong pledge from the Canadian government as part of its focus on "taking real action to saving lives"
Ottawa, Ontario, 6 October 2010 - The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, today announced a major Canadian government contribution to the GAVI Alliance (formerly the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization).
This new pledge will help to safeguard the substantial achievements already made in the prevention of deaths of millions of children through immunization efforts.
Through the GAVI Alliance, Canada's contribution will help to accelerate the introduction of new and underused vaccines, and strengthen health and immunization systems in developing countries.
Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, Canada
"Young children are particularly vulnerable to diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhea. Throughout the developing world, too many children are dying from diseases that can be prevented through vaccination," said Minister Oda.
"Through the GAVI Alliance, Canada's contribution will help to accelerate the introduction of new and underused vaccines, and strengthen health and immunization systems in developing countries. Today's pledge demonstrates the government's focus on taking real action to saving lives as part of Canada's G-8 initiative to improve maternal, newborn and child health."
This announcement coincides with GAVI's event in New York on October 6 entitled "Saving children's lives-A call for action and resources for the GAVI Alliance." The GAVI Alliance is a global health partnership representing stakeholders in immunization from both private and public sectors.
Over the last decade, GAVI has helped to immunize more than 250 million children against life-threatening diseases and contributed to the prevention of approximately 5.4 million deaths.
"The GAVI Alliance is grateful to Minister Oda for the commitment of new direct funding by the Canadian government to GAVI, which contributes fully to Canada's G-8 initiative to improve maternal and child health," said GAVI Chief Executive Officer Julian Lob-Levyt.
"Canada is one of GAVI's long-standing donors and partners, having provided direct support very early on and financing for the new Advance Market Commitment (AMC) for pneumococcal vaccine. We look forward to continued close engagement with CIDA over the years ahead."
This announcement of a contribution of $50 million over five years to the GAVI Alliance builds upon a total of $188 million that the Government of Canada has committed and disbursed to GAVI since 2001, as well a US$200 million commitment for the AMC managed by GAVI.
From the mid-1990s to 2008, routine immunization coverage of children in sub-Saharan Africa rose from 52 percent to an impressive 72 percent due to the efforts of organizations such as the GAVI Alliance.