Madrid, 16 November 2010 - HRH Princess Cristina, Director of the International Area of the "la Caixa" Foundation, and Mary Robinson, Chair of the GAVI Alliance Board, ex-President of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, renewed this morning at Caixa Forum Madrid the commitment of "la Caixa" to the eradication of child mortality with the donation to GAVI of 3 million euros. This brings its total investment to 11 million euros, which has made it possible to vaccinate 1.2 million children from low-income countries.
This is how "la Caixa" maintains its position as Europe's main private partner of the international organisation, in the framework of a project stimulated from "la Caixa" by Isidro Fainé, Chairman of the financial entity and of the "la Caixa" Foundation.
The relationship between the two organisations goes back to 2005 and was reinforced in 2008, when a Business Alliance in Spain in favour of child vaccination in the poorest countries was set up.
This pioneering initiative of corporate social responsibility in Europe aims at making it easier for Spanish companies to collaborate with this solidarity initiative, guaranteeing that their contributions are allocated in their entirety to child vaccination. Already over 140 companies have wanted to form a part of this leading world coalition between the public and private sectors to struggle against child mortality in the developing countries, which aims to extend the quality of vaccines and access to them in these countries.
"Human rights include the right to health, and we cannot realise this universal right without full engagement of both the public and private sectors. Children without a voice in developing countries need us all to work together to ensure they are protected against life-threatening diseases by making sure they have access to the vaccines they need. Together, as an Alliance, we have already saved more than five million lives. Yet, there are so many children dying every day from vaccine-preventable diseases. We have a lot more work to do." - Mary Robinson, Chair of the GAVI Alliance Board
"la Caixa", through its Welfare Projects, maintains its annual contribution to GAVI in order to facilitate the access to vaccination of children under five in low-income countries. Contributions total 11 million euros since 2008.
The donations of "la Caixa" Welfare Projects and the companies sponsoring the Business Alliance have till now been allocated to financing vaccines. As a result, since 2008 and including this new contribution, one million two hundred thousand (1,200,000) children from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Mauritania, Sudan (Darfur) and the Central African Republic will have been vaccinated with the five-in-one vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, pneumonia-meningitis and Hepatitis B).
The International Cooperation Programme of "la Caixa" Welfare Projects has collaborated to date on a total of 434 projects in 62 countries with contributions of over 56 million euros.
GAVI Alliance is an organisation set up in the year 2000 to facilitate access to new vaccines and improve the health systems and their long-term sustainability in low-income countries, with a view to fighting child mortality. Since 2000, GAVI calculates that six million deaths have been avoided. In addition, the international organisation has contributed to the development of more efficient lower-cost vaccines, making them more accessible for these countries, at the same time as it has stimulated these emerging economies by encouraging them to invest in new markets.
This alliance includes the main agents in the field of immunisation, among which are governments of both developed and developing countries, the WHO, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine manufacturing industry in both developed and developing countries, technical and research agencies, NGOs and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
"la Caixa", with its more than 5,300 branch offices, is one of these partners. Since its creation, "la Caixa" has developed programmes focusing on social activity in a coordinated way through its financial area and Welfare Projects.
In its two years of existence, the Business Alliance for Child Vaccination led by "la Caixa", which aims to contribute to the fourth Millennium Development Goal, concerning child health (reducing mortality by two thirds before 2015) has obtained affirmative replies from over 140 companies throughout Spain and the interest of many others, collecting over 500,000 euros.
Thanks to this project, companies find a suitable channel for their concern and unease in the field of solidarity: the fact that concrete action is offered, backed up by the experience and international prestige of GAVI, has favoured the success obtained to date.
For further information:
Publicity Department, "la Caixa" Welfare Projects
Marina Teixidó: 93 4044092 / 608 09 90 23 / email@example.com
Juan A. García: 91 3307317 / 608 21 30 95 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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