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European Commission - Press release
European Commission announces an extra €10 million to provide life-saving vaccines
Brussels, 10 June 2011 -New funding to help immunize millions of people against preventable diseases will be pledged on Monday, 13 June, by EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs.
During the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (GAVI) Conference in London, the Commissioner will announce the pledge towards the US$ 3.7 billion (or €2.6 billion) total which GAVI has said it needs to vaccinate nearly 250 million children over the next five years. This is expected to save almost 4 million lives.
This new funding will add to the more than half a billion Euro that the Commission spends on health in developing countries every year.
Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said: "It is shameful that in the 21st century, nearly 2 million children die each year from diseases which could be prevented by a simple vaccine. That's why I am pleased to announce our new commitment. We are also determined to support national health systems in the developing countries – this is the only way to create sustainable conditions for treating patients all over the world."
The European Commission has already pledged 20 million euros for GAVI between 2011 and 2013. This builds on its previous commitment of €220 million to support immunization programmes; €53.4 million of which was spent through the alliance. The additional money pledged will go towards vaccines for the two biggest childhood killers; pneumonia and diarrhoea, as well as for areas where vaccines are new or currently underused such as rubella, typhoid and meningitis.
On 5th April, Commissioner Piebalgs also met with Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to discuss how the Commission could work with the Gates Foundation to increase access to vaccines for some of the world's poorest people.
The 'Saving Children's Lives - GAVI Alliance Pledging Conference for Immunisation' was set up to bring donors together from across the world to make firm commitments to fund new vaccines in the world's poorest countries. This year's pledging conference is co-organised by UK Aid and Bill Gates will be chairing the event.
European Commission contribution to health
The European Commission spends more than half a billion Euro on health in developing countries every year. Much of this is direct support to effective health systems (human resources, medicines, vaccines) at country level, but this also includes the Commission's support to the Global Health Initiatives like GAVI or the Global Fund.
Health is also indirectly supported through general budget support linked to health targets, as well as the Commission's support to water and sanitation (as well as to other areas that are relevant to health).
The GAVI Alliance is a public-private partnership committed to saving children's lives through the use of vaccines. By the end of 2010, it is estimated that 300 million children across 72 countries will have been vaccinated thanks to GAVI support.
Website of pledging conference
Commissioner Piebalgs' website
European Commission's work on health
Catherine Ray (+32 2 296 99 21)
Wojtek Talko (+32 2 297 85 51)