Madrid, 7 July 2006 - Today the Council of Ministers approved a contribution from Spain to the GAVI Alliance amounting to 240 million dollars (189.5 million euros). With this contribution Spain will become the organization's fourth largest donor.
The pledge approved by the government will cover 20 years. The first instalment will be paid in 2006 and will amount to 12 million dollars.
GAVI Alliance is a public-private partnership which promotes large-scale immunisation in the poorest countries of the world. The partnership includes governments, pharmaceutical companies, NGOs, international organizations and health and research institutes. The great majority of partner countries are what are known as least developed countries, and the priority region for action is sub-Saharan Africa.
Every year 27 million children miss out on immunization against the most common childhood diseases. As a result, between two and three million boys and girls die every year of diseases which are easily preventable. Many more fall ill and lose school time.
Spain is making this donation in line with its firm resolve to contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). MDG4 refers to the reduction of child mortality. It is estimated that Spain's contribution and those of the other donors will make it possible to save the lives of five million children and a further five million adults (deaths caused by hepatitis B).
Spain's contribution to GAVI will be made through the International Finance Facility for Immunization (IFFIm). The IFFIm will mobilize, in a relatively short time, a significant volume of funds for the large-scale immunization of children and for other activities such as the strengthening of health and immunization services.
Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero announced Spain's contribution to GAVI during the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2005, in connection with the Initiative against Hunger and Poverty. Spain is associated with this initiative, which promotes the search for innovative sources of funding in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
The provision of funds through this channel marks a qualitative step forward in Spanish cooperation which corresponds to the new international trends aimed at ensuring greater efficacity and efficiency in the area of development cooperation.
This initiative comes in addition to Spain's participation in other new instruments and donor groups, such as its contribution to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the Education for All - Fast Track Initiative, which focus on securing the resources necessary to give the decisive boost required for achievement of the Millennium Goals.