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ImpactHealth

Canada commits CAN $500 million to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Flickr: Jeannine

WHAT’S THE ISSUE

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is seeking replenishment funds from donor countries for 2016-2020. They have the ambitious target of reaching 300 million children with life saving vaccines over that five year period, cutting distribution time by half against previous targets. To ensure this goal is achieved, it was crucial that Canada, a longtime key supporter of the Vaccine Alliance's critical work, stepped up to the plate with a strong financial commitment.

HOW DID GLOBAL CITIZENS RESPOND?

Global Citizens set to work increasing the Canadian government’s awareness of the tremendous impact of funding vaccinations as part of an effective sustainable foreign aid strategy. Global Citizens in partnership with the ONE campaign made their voices heard through a global petition that generated over 46,000 signatures, calling for a strong commitment of CAN $500 million. Global Citizen also coordinated strong political advocacy in Canada, reaching out through the Global Citizen Festival and demonstrating to Canada that the world is committed to supporting Gavi’s ambition to reach 300 million children with life giving vaccines.

WHAT’S THE IMPACT?

At the Francophone Summit on November 28, Canadian Prime Minister announced that Canada would be committing $500 million, the full amount called for by Global Citizens and Canadian NGOs, towards Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. In the current economic climate, where many donor countries are cutting their aid budgets or finding commitments increasingly difficult to justify, this win is something for Canadian and all Global Citizens to celebrate. Especially since this donation was made ahead of the January 2015 replenishment conference, not only will this commitment make a significant contribution, it will also help build crucial momentum towards Gavi reaching its full funding goal. If Gavi is successful in reaching the total goal, the vaccines distributed will save between 5 and 6 million additional lives between 2016 and 2020. The Canadian donation will contribute to Gavi’s goal - our estimate is that Canada’s donation is set to affect the lives of nearly 17.5 million children by immunizing them.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

As the Vaccine Alliance prepares to convene donor countries in Berlin in January for the global replenishment conference, it is crucial that donor countries, including the United States, follow the examples set by countries like Canada and the UK's through their early strong financial commitments.Only then will Gavi  be successful in seeking to increase its reach, and make sure that no child lacks access to basic, life-saving immunizations.