Donors Promise $4 Billion To Global Vaccines Body
Monday, June 13, 2011
Donors promised to give a global vaccines body more than $4 billion to help it protect millions of children from diseases like measles, pneumonia and yellow fever.
At a one-day pledging conference in London on Monday, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced the U.K. would provide 814 million pounds ($1.3 billion) of new funding up to 2015.
Australia announced on Sunday it would commit $211 million to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation declared it would donate more than $1 billion to the cause.
GAVI is an alliance of organizations including the Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, major vaccine makers and others. The group buys injections for the world’s poorest countries. They estimate about 2 million children die every year from diseases that could have been prevented with a shot.
“Today is an important moment in our collective commitment to protecting children in developing countries from disease,” said Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia, in a statement.
Daniel Berman, a vaccines expert at Doctors Without Borders, said it was exciting so much money had been pledged and that many lives would be saved. But he questioned whether the millions of taxpayer dollars would be spent properly.