Danish Minister for Development Cooperation meets with GAVI - one of the central actors in the field of immunisation

Copenhagen, 12 March 2008 - The GAVI Alliance today thanked the Danish government for Denmark's support to GAVI.  During the meeting GAVI and the Danish Minister discussed issues related to vaccine deliveries in developing countries with weak health systems and also the role of GAVI in the international health architecture.

"We are grateful for this long-term commitment which enables life-saving vaccination programmes to receive much-needed predictable funding" said Marc Hofstetter, GAVI's Deputy Executive Secretary at a meeting in Copenhagen. "This new multi-year pledge can help save children's lives and make progress towards the Millennium Development Goals."

Denmark was among the original six donor countries to GAVI in 2001 and contributes to GAVI yearly with 25 million DKK. 

The Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Ulla Tørnæs said: "The core of the Danish development policy is long-term and binds cooperation with the developing countries and partners. By investing in GAVI, which boosts immunisation and strengthens health systems through innovative public-private partnership, we are taking the decision to act collectively to reach a greater result."

Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, former Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs and GAVI Fund Board member, said: "I am positively delighted at this decision. My country continues to achieve the best possible results from its development investments and to get the maximum development value for money. I am also proud that Denmark is among the very few countries whose international aid levels exceed the 0.7 / GDP targets set by the international community."

Most recent WHO data show that GAVI has helped avert 2.9 million future deaths since its creation in 2000. Child mortality is down below 10 million deaths per year for the first time.

In particular, the data show that GAVI support to countries in the years 2000-2007 protected 36.8 million additional children with basic vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough), as well as 176 million additional children with new and underused vaccines for hepatitis B (a cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer), Haemophilus influenzae type b (a cause of meningitis and pneumonia) and yellow fever.

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