Australia has once again stepped up for global health by pledging an incredible $300 million AUD in international aid to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, a critical health partnership that works to ensure the world’s most vulnerable kids receive life-saving immunisations.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison made Australia’s monumental renewed support during Gavi’s virtual pledging conference on Thursday. Alongside Australia, pivotal million-dollar pledges by 32 donor nations — including Canada, India, the United Kingdom and the United States — resulted in $8.8 billion USD being raised for Gavi, surpassing the health organisation’s original target by $1.4 billion.
During a live cross, Morrison announced Australia’s pledge would help Gavi immunise 140 million children across the Pacific over five years.
"In our region, Gavi’s impact has been profound. For our Pacific family and Timor-Leste, the alliance has enabled more than 1.5 million children to be vaccinated — a remarkable achievement,” Morrison said in his address. “Our work today is to ensure that all children, regardless of where they live, have access to life-saving vaccines.”
Morrison added: “In these challenging times, there is strength in collaboration.”
#BREAKING: Australia just announced a new $300M AUD funding commitment to @gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. We are SO PROUD to see 🇦🇺 continuously step up for global health. Thank you @MarisePayne, @ScottMorrisonMP, @AlexHawkeMP and @GregHuntMP! ⭕️👏 pic.twitter.com/Gi0bNXLmH4— GlblCtznAU (@GlblCtznAU) June 4, 2020
Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has worked across the world’s poorest countries to deliver protection to those most in need — immunising 760 million people from infectious diseases and saving more than 13 million lives.
Chair of the Gavi board, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said it is only through sufficient funding from countries like Australia that Gavi can continue its life-saving work and meet its goal to immunise 1.1 billion children by 2025, saving 22 million lives.
Okonjo-Iweala thanked all donor nations for generously committing new funds during the conference.
"On behalf of the countless vaccinators, supply chain workers, programme managers and the many, many others that work tirelessly every day to ensure children in vulnerable countries continue to receive life-saving vaccines — thank you,” Okonjo-Iweala said in a press release. “We have made incredible progress over the past two decades, improving vaccine coverage and reducing child mortality across Africa and Asia. This funding will give countries new hope that, despite the devastating impact of COVID-19, this progress can be sustained and built on.”
Australia’s pledge answers the direct call of over 8,000 Global Citizens, who, since February, have emailed and tweeted key Australians politicians asking them to invest Australian aid in Gavi and save millions of children from disease.
Similarly, the pledges from countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Sweden, the Netherlands, France and the European Commission come in response to 140,880 Global Citizens, who took over 351,000 actions across Global Citizen’s Defeat Disease Together campaign.