Geneva, 1 June 2020 – Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, welcomes Switzerland's announcement that it will contribute CHF 30 million to support Gavi’s efforts to deliver life-saving vaccines to children in the world’s poorest countries.
“Fighting the COVID-19 pandemic requires a comprehensive, global and coordinated approach,” said Ambassador Christian Frutiger, Head of the Global Cooperation at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). “The development of therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines is critical and equitable access must be ensured. Switzerland will pay particular attention to the needs of lower income countries and the most vulnerable people. Gavi has the track record and the ability to help tackle the vaccine challenge of the COVID-19 response for all.”
This support comes as the COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting 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 while routine immunisation for young children is likely to be severely disrupted. Gavi is working with countries to keep immunisation programmes going, where possible, and is ready to launch mass vaccination campaigns once the immediate crisis is over to prevent a resurgence of deadly diseases, as well as working with countries to prepare their health systems for deployment of vaccines against COVID-19.
“We are extremely grateful to Switzerland for its support at such a critical time for global health. This pledge will be catalytic towards a fully funded Gavi,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “Our host country’s commitments to the immunisation of the poorest has been crucial to Gavi’s success in protecting the most vulnerable children against preventable infectious diseases. As a key partner to Gavi, Switzerland has helped our efforts and through a shared agenda and vision, we will continue the important work to prevent infectious diseases, protect children with immunisation and make sure that communities prosper by reaching 300 million children and saving up to 8 million lives during our next strategic period.”
As the host country of Gavi, Switzerland has been a strong supporter of Gavi's mission and vision since 2000. This major scale-up of Switzerland's contribution complements pledges already made by several countries in recent months to support Gavi’s planned programmes in 2021-2025. Gavi’s replenishment will conclude at the Global Vaccine Summit, hosted by the UK government on 4 June.