Funding will cover the costs of vaccines in six countries

Alwaleed statement - Kiribati

A health worker delivers the pneumococcal vaccine to a young child as the mother looks on during the launch of the vaccine in Kiribati, May 2013. Increased support from an expanding donor base will allow for further introductions and greater protection against preventable diseases for children in developing countries.
Credit: Gavi/2013/Raj Kumar.

Geneva, 13 July 2015 – Alwaleed Philanthropies today committed to protecting the lives of children through immunisation by signing an agreement worth US$ 1 million with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

The agreement, which was negotiated at the Gavi Pledging Conference in January, marks the first time Alwaleed Philanthropies has provided support to Gavi. The contribution will support all projected vaccine needs in Timor Leste, Kiribati, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, and Guyana for the 2016-2020 period.

“We are very pleased that His Royal Highness Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal has decided to support Gavi through Alwaleed Philanthropies,” said Marie-Ange Sarakao-Yao, Gavi’s Resource Mobilisation and Private Sector Partnerships Managing Director. “Immunisation is one of the most effective ways of reducing preventable deaths in the poorest countries and thanks to this contribution, Gavi will be able to support developing countries with vaccines that protect children against preventable diseases.”

Alwaleed Philanthropies supports and initiates projects around the world, regardless of gender, race or religion. It collaborates with a range of philanthropic, governmental and educational organisations to combat poverty, empower women and the youth, develop communities, provide disaster relief and create cultural understanding through education.

“Our goal is to be a part in providing each child with the vaccines he or she needs to sustain a healthy and productive life,” said Ms Abir A. Kaki, Alwaleed Philanthropies’ Secretary General. “We want to work together to increase the number of children who will be immunised and work together with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, an organisation which has in fifteen years successfully immunised half a billion children and that has bold ambitions for the next four years.”

Since 2000, Gavi has invested more than US$ 3.8 billion to introduce vaccines in 33 member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). This accounts for more than 50% of all Gavi’s disbursements to date. For the 2016 to 2020 period, Gavi projects that 60% of its funding will support immunisation programmes in OIC member countries who are eligible for Gavi support.

Every year, nearly 22 million children, mainly in poor countries, do not receive a full course of even the most basic vaccines. More than one in five of all children who die before the age of five lose their lives to vaccine-preventable diseases.

Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has helped developing countries immunise half a billion children, saving 7 million lives. In January, world leaders joined German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin to raise US$ 7.5 billion to ensure Gavi-supported programmes are fully funded between 2016 and 2020. This will enable the Vaccine Alliance to support countries to reach an additional 300 million children with vaccines, leading to a further five to six million lives being saved.

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