Geneva, 1 June 2020 – The Hellenic Republic has pledged €1.5 million to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to support Gavi countries’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The commitment, announced by Greece Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during the Coronavirus Global Response Conference on 4 April, is the country’s first-ever pledge to the Alliance. The funding comes as part of a €3 million package from the Hellenic Republic to support emergency and preparedness response, developing and deploying new diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.
“Gavi has been staunchly and systematically trying to secure availability, affordability and accessibility of vaccines to all people,” said Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of Greece. “Greece acknowledging this remarkable effort allocates half of its pledge to the COVID-19 Donors Conference to Gavi, in the hope that a vaccine against COVID-19 will soon be found. But, let us not forget that this vaccine should be treated as a global public good.”
The COVID-19 pandemic is already disrupting routine immunisation services in lower-income countries across the world. Vital vaccination campaigns against diseases like measles, polio, yellow fever and cholera have already been suspended or postponed while routine immunisation for young children is severely disrupted in some countries.
Gavi needs at least US$ 7.4 billion for the 2021-25 period to protect 300 million children in 68 lower-income countries against deadly diseases. This funding will also ensure that the immunisation systems needed to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine are sustained through the pandemic.
“We are sincerely grateful to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the Hellenic Republic for this vital pledge,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “COVID-19 is a global problem which requires a global solution – we will not win the battle against this disease until it’s defeated everywhere. That’s why this funding is so important, contributing to our efforts to help lower-income countries contain and defeat this disease. Greece deserves our deep gratitude for this commitment, as does the EU for its leadership in global health.”
Over 20 years, Gavi has helped to immunise more than 760 million children, saving more than 13 million lives. Over that time, the Alliance has also worked to strengthen health systems in the world’s poorest countries and establish vaccine stockpiles against serious global health security threats, including Ebola.
Gavi’s replenishment will conclude at the Global Vaccine Summit, hosted by the UK government on 4 June. Representatives from over 50 countries, including over 25 Heads of State, are planned to attend this event which will be a major opportunity for world leaders to reiterate their support to Gavi’s vision to immunise more than 1.1 billion children, saving 22 million lives by 2025.