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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 20 May 2014

EU steps up its efforts to improve the health of millions in developing countries

European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, has today announced that the EU will provide €25 million per year in the period 2014-2020 to fund vaccines and immunisation programmes worldwide.

The new support – more than double that previously committed, when on average €10 million per year were provided - will go to the GAVI Alliance (formerly the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation), a non-profit organisation focused on saving children's lives and protecting people's health by increasing access to immunisation in poor countries.

Announcing the funding at the ‘Investing together for a healthy future’ event in Brussels today, President Barroso said: "It is horrible and unacceptable that around 1.5 million children still die each year from diseases which could be prevented by a simple vaccine. That’s why today’s announcement of further EU funding is so important – it shows that we are committed, in the long term, to doing all we can to make sure that more men, women and children have access to life saving vaccines, no matter where they live".

"We are grateful to the European Union for more than doubling its contribution which will enable GAVI Alliance to get closer to its goal of hugely increasing its impact by 2020, protecting million more children against deadly diseases in the poorest countries", said Dagfinn Høybråten, chair of the GAVI Board. ‘The European Union by committing additional funds to the current and the next funding cycle is showing its support to GAVI's mission which is closely aligned with European Union’s Development policy to reduce poverty and build sustainable development through inclusive growth.’

Today’s event, hosted by the European Commission and GAVI, will see the GAVI

Alliance set out the impact that can be achieved by supporting immunisation programmes in the world’s poorest countries and the funding required for this going forward. It will be the kick-off meeting for a donor pledging process to fund GAVI Alliance during the 2016-2020 period. The process will also involve a replenishment meeting later on.

Since 2003, the European Commission has committed over €83 million to the GAVI Alliance, coming in part from the Development Co-operation Instrument (DCI) and in part from the European Development Fund (EDF).

Thanks to donors like the EU, close to half a billion children have been immunised since 2000, resulting in 6 million lives saved. The objective of these funds is to accelerate impact in the coming years, and ensure gains made to date are sustained, enabling a healthy future for the next generation of children in the poorest countries.

Background

As well as supporting GAVI, the EU works to strengthen countries’ overall health systems, and promote research and development in healthcare worldwide. Social protection, health and education are a priority of the European Union’s support for inclusive and sustainable growth. That is why the EU pledged to commit at least 20% of future funding (2014-2020) in this area.

The European Commission - GAVI Alliance event ‘Investing together for a healthy future’ takes place today in Brussels and other participants include Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, President of Ethiopia, Mulatu Teshome, and other key donors and representatives from Member States and Developing countries.

For more information

EU and GAVI Alliance: Working together to save lives: MEMO/14/362

Website of EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/index_en.htm

Website of the European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/piebalgs/index_en.htm

Website of GAVI:

http://www.gavialliance.org/

Contacts :

Alexandre Polack (+32 2 299 06 77)

Maria Sanchez Aponte (+32 2 298 10 35)

Raquel Maria Patricio Gomes (+32 2 297 48 14)

For the public: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or by e-mail


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