Gavi applauds Obama Administration budget request for vaccine programmes

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Funding will support historic US$ 1 billion, 4-year U.S. pledge to Gavi to help protect millions of children from deadly diseases through vaccination

Washington, DC, 2 February 2015 - Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance today applauded the Obama Administration’s fiscal year 2016 budget request for US$ 235 million to support childhood immunisation in the world’s poorest countries.

The proposed funding is part of the historic US$ 1 billion commitment over fiscal years 2015-2018 announced by USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah at the Alliance’s pledging conference in Berlin last week. The US contribution – subject to US Congressional approval – will support Gavi’s efforts to help immunise 300 million children by 2020, saving up to 6 million lives and unlocking US$ 80 billion-US$ 100 billion in economic benefits.

We are extremely grateful to the Obama Administration and USAID for their strong support of childhood immunisation 

Gavi CEO Dr Seth Berkley

Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has helped immunise half a billion children, saving 7 million lives. Yet despite an unprecedented increase in vaccine programmes in developing countries, 1.5 million children worldwide still die of vaccine-preventable diseases each year.

“We are extremely grateful to the Obama Administration and USAID for their strong support of childhood immunisation,” said Gavi CEO Dr Seth Berkley. “This generous funding will give children in the poorest countries access to desperately needed life-saving vaccines. We look forward to working with Congress to ensure continued support for Gavi and to ending preventable child deaths.”

The United States’ commitment to child health was spotlighted at USAID’s 2014 “Acting on the Call” initiative, which aims to save the lives of 15 million children in developing countries, including through immunisation. US funding for Gavi is being used to purchase vaccines in Gavi-eligible countries, including the 24 countries prioritised by USAID.

The US is one of Gavi’s original six donors and, with support from Congress, has contributed US$ 1.4 billion since Gavi was founded 15 years ago. The new pledge, with Congressional approval, would put the US on a trajectory to almost double its investment in Gavi compared to the last strategic period (2011-2015).

The Obama Administration’s fiscal year 2016 budget request also includes an increase to US$ 770 million in the overall budget for maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) programmes. USAID’s in-country MNCH programs are an important component in ensuring collaboration and, ultimately, success for the shared goal of ending preventable child death, including the acceleration in saving children's lives through immunisation.

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