Geneva, 11 May 2020 – Spain has announced €50 million in new funding to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to both support the vaccination of hundreds of millions of children against diseases like pneumonia, measles and polio, as well as support universal access to a COVID-19 vaccine. The new pledge, made at the EU’s Coronavirus Global Response pledging conference, is in addition to Spain’s existing commitments for the 2021-2025 period for Gavi, amounting to €47 million.
“Spain firmly believes that solidarity and multilateralism are the only way forward,” said Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez during his address at the Coronavirus Global Response International Pledging Event on 4 May. “In order to counter COVID-19, we need vaccines, effective treatments and fast and reliable tests. We all need them soon. It is imperative to develop the capacity to produce and distribute them at scale and at affordable prices for all. They must be accessible to everyone and every country in the world. In the fight against COVID-19 no one should be left behind.”
Spain is one of the original donors of the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm), with a commitment of €189.5 million over 20 years. Underpinning this commitment to innovative financing, the Spanish government made a first direct contribution of €30 million to Gavi in 2008 followed by a €2 million contribution for 2010.
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. Gavi’s replenishment will conclude at the Global Vaccine Summit, hosted by the UK government on 4 June.
“This is a massive vote of confidence in Gavi’s mission,” said Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chair of the Gavi Board. “It underlines how much we all will need the Vaccine Alliance in the coming years, both to prevent a resurgence of diseases like polio or measles as well as to ensure the most vulnerable, wherever they live, have access to an eventual COVID-19 vaccine. Spain deserves our deep gratitude for these commitments, as does the EU for its leadership in global health.”
“We are grateful to Spain for this absolutely vital funding, which will help us both vaccinate millions of the most vulnerable children as well as help us prepare for a potential roll-out of a COVID-19 vaccine to the most vulnerable,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “The development of a COVID-19 vaccine is our best chance of beating this disease, while we need to keep a hold on other diseases by ensuring vaccination continues. We cannot afford to have another epidemic, other diseases need to remain under control and the best tool we have is vaccination.”
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.
The UK government will host Gavi’s third donor pledging conference on 4 June 2020 to mobilise at least US$ 7.4 billion in additional resources to protect the next generation with vaccines, reduce disease inequality and create a healthier, safer…