Before the holidays officially kick off, Global Citizen is making sure that our British MPs and passersby in Westminster, London, don’t forget about the life-saving work being done around the world by a partnership called Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
In fact, to make sure our message is heard loud and clear, we've put a digital advert up, right in Westminster Tube station in central London – where loads of politicians will be toing and froing on their way to work at the Houses of Parliament nearby.
We’re celebrating the fact that UK aid’s funding of Gavi will have saved 1.4 million children’s lives between 2016 and the end of this year. And we're helping to remind people of the enormous, life-saving impact aid can have.
We believe that where you live shouldn’t decide whether you live. Human rights champion Nelson Mandela once said: “Life or death for a young child too often depends on whether he or she is born in a country where vaccines are available or not.”
But an estimated 3 million people die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, tetanus, and whooping cough.
Gavi’s aim is to ensure that everyone has equal access to vaccines. Incredibly, the partnership has immunised 700 million children since it was first founded in 2000 — saving an estimated 10 million lives. Gavi also sends vaccines and public health professionals to hard to reach areas, such as conflict zones, to help make sure that no child is left behind.
Where you live shouldn’t decide whether you live.— Global Citizen UK (@GlblCtznUK) December 18, 2019
That’s the message we’re sharing in our ad at Westminster tube station as we approach Christmas 🎄
Agree? Take action to urge Britain to use #UKAid to support vaccines & back @Gavi: https://t.co/uYBc0KGiur#DefeatDiseaseTogetherpic.twitter.com/zg9fp2ICQ1
Just recently, Gavi helped protect more than 450,000 people in Yemen, by delivering the first ever cholera vaccination campaign. Yemen’s cholera epidemic — the worst in the world — erupted in April 2017 and, by October 2018, around 1.2 million suspected cases had been reported, with children accounting for about 30% of infections.
Next year, in mid-2020 the UK will host a Gavi replenishment conference – an opportunity for political leaders, civil society organisations, public and private donors, vaccine manufacturers, and governments to assemble and raise funds to top up the funding for the partnership's vital work.
The first replenishment, hosted in London in 2011, raised $4.3 billion; the second, in Berlin in 2015, raised $7.5 billion. The third will be aiming to raise enough funding to ensure its work can continue to be as effective in the 2021 to 2025 period.
The plan for those few years is to get the number of children vaccinated globally up to 1.1 billion — but Gavi needs to raise about $7.4 billion in funds to achieve that goal.
That’s why we’re hoping that UK MPs will keep global vaccinations — one of the world's most successful and cost-effective public health initiatives — in mind, as they go in to the new year.