(L-R) Gavi Board Chair Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; HE Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Gavi CEO Dr Seth Berkley during the opening press conference in Abu Dhabi. Credit: Gavi/2018/Oscar Seijkens.
Abu Dhabi, 10/11 December 2018 - The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance are bringing together leaders and the global health community for a two-day meeting on December 10–11 to review progress half way through Gavi’s 2016–2020 investment period, examine challenges and refine actions for increasing access to immunisation in the world’s poorest countries to help empower the next generation through health.
Over the last 18 years, more than 700 million children have been immunised and 10 million lives have been saved as a result of massive international efforts to increase equal access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries.
“We are proud to host Gavi’s Mid-Term Review in the Year of Zayed – the 100-year anniversary of the birth of our country’s founding father,” said UAE’s Minister of State for International Cooperation, HE Reem Al Hashimy. “The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan demonstrated that investing in people’s welfare, human development produces great dividends for individuals, families and society as a whole. This echoes Gavi’s own commitment to improving the lives of children in the world’s poorest countries.”
The President of the Republic of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, and Prime Minister of the Republic of Mozambique, Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, will join 300 representatives from governments, civil society and the private sector to celebrate the 10 million lives that Gavi has saved since inception in 2000, to review the progress made since the last replenishment in 2015 and to help shape the future of global health.
“Since its inception Gavi has done development differently. It has embraced innovation and technology and relied on the comparative strengths of its partners to fulfil its ambitious mission,” said Gavi Board Chair, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. “This approach has allowed investments to go further and had an impact that goes beyond immunisation, transforming lives for a better future,” she added.
The UAE is committed to global health, as well as humanitarian initiatives and efforts. For instance since 2011, the country has been supporting polio eradication efforts while contributing to Gavi. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s Initiative for Polio Eradication is a leading and pioneering initiative in support of global eradication efforts.
The Emirates Polio Campaign (UAE-PAP), launched in 2014 in Pakistan, has already reached 57 million children with 346 million doses of life–saving vaccines. This effort has contributed to the decrease of polio cases from 306 in 2014 to just 8 cases since the beginning of 2018.
“As a longstanding partner, the UAE is helping Gavi reach more children with life-saving vaccines,” said Gavi CEO Dr Seth Berkley. “We are grateful to them for hosting this meeting, which will give us the opportunity to reflect on our results in the past years and shape the future of Gavi’s innovative model as rapid population growth, migration, relentless urbanisation and the impacts of climate change all combine to increase the risk of disease outbreaks. We look forward to working with world leaders to further strengthen our model, so that Gavi is ready to meet these challenges for the benefit of generations to come.”
Since 2000, Gavi has supported the immunisation of close to 100 million children in six countries in the World Health Organization (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean (EMRO) region: Afghanistan, Djibouti, Pakistan, Somalia, the Sudan and Yemen. Under Gavi’s eligibility and transition policy, Syria will become eligible for Gavi’s portfolio of support as of 1 January 2019.
The Alliance has also supported 33 of the 57 countries in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and helped to ensure the immunisation of more than 288 million children in OIC member states.