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Health

Huge wins at Gavi!

A child being vaccinated against measles in Rwanda. | Flickr: Julien Harneis 

Wow. Something incredible just happened.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance has wrapped up its pledging conference in Berlin, Germany. Every five years Gavi asks nations and private companies to contribute to its fund to #reacheverychild with the vaccines they need to reduce child deaths from preventable diseases.

On Tuesday, after a year of campaigning, the global community has exceeded Gavi’s fundraising goal of $7.5 billion. This means the alliance can vaccinate 300 million children and save 5-6 million lives.

Global citizens fought hard for this, and together we won.

·      In the UK, global citizens supported partners The Global Poverty Project,  ONE, RESULTS UK and Save the Children and campaigned to secure £1 billion from the UK Government, maintaining its status as Gavi’s largest donor.

·      In the US, global citizens campaigned with The Global Poverty Project, ONE, RESULTS, and the United Nations Foundation to secure a $1 billion pledge from the United States Government over 4-years.

·      In Canada, global citizens joined The Global Poverty Project, ONE and RESULTS in Canada to secure $500 million from the Canadian Government from 2016-2020.

·      And in Australia, Norway, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden and France, global citizens took action calling on decision makers to seize this incredible opportunity and secure pledges.

The Gavi Pledging Conference saw unprecedented engagement from donors, with many deciding to double or even triple their commitments from their 2011-2015 pledges.

For the next 5 years, Germany increased its contribution from $203m to $720m, Canada increased from $195m to $451m, and the European Commission from $76m to $241m.

Additionally, China, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia made pledges to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance for the first time. China’s pledge means that all BRICS countries are now making financial contributions towards childhood immunisation through Gavi. On top of that, China used to receive Gavi funding and now it is a donor country!

In total, 17 sovereign donors came together to reach the $7.5 billion goal. Today, 60% of the world’s children are being immunized with Gavi vaccines. That is an absolutely astonishing achievement, and something to celebrate.

When you compare the costs to fund Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to the economic benefits the program produces, the value is clear. In addition to the millions of human lives saved, developing countries will benefit from $80-$100 billion dollar boosts to their economies through productivity gains and savings in treatment and transportation costs, as well as caretaker costs.

As global citizens, we can all be proud of the solidarity and commitment to development that was displayed in Berlin this week. Now is a time to champion our wins and keep up the momentum in providing for the basic, undeniable rights of the world’s poorest. Every child has the right to survive and thrive. 

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Alison Shea