Their mission is simple: get kids in poor countries the vaccines that are available for kids in rich countries - and today, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) announced a major milestone in global health by exceeding their goal of securing $3.7 billion in commitments from world leaders.
A historic achievement, the funds in this pledge campaign will go towards immunizing more than 250 million of the world's poorest children against life-threatening diseases by 2015 and preventing more than four million premature deaths.
Major public and private donors committed $ 4.3 billion, enabling GAVI to reach more children faster than planned and to accelerate the introduction of new vaccines. A portion of the pledges are conditional upon GAVI raising additional funds from new donors in the future. Today's pledges bring GAVI's total available resources for 2011 to 2015 to $ 7.6 billion.
Hosted by UK Prime Minister David Cameron, the meeting convened prime ministers, ministers and high-level officials from donor and developing countries, leaders of UN Agencies, CEOs from private companies and senior civil society leaders to make commitments to support GAVI's life-saving work.
"Today is an important moment in our collective commitment to protecting children in developing countries from disease," said President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. "But every 20 seconds, a child still dies of a vaccine-preventable disease. There's more work to be done."
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By successfully meeting their goal, GAVI will have the ability to continue funding their immunization programs in developing countries and also to address two new important vaccines that will be made available for countries in-need, one against pneumonia the other immunizing again