TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Toronto-based Global Poverty Project Canada is commending Canada’s decision to commit a bold $500 million to help fund life-saving vaccines to children in the developing world through Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the announcement today at the Francophone Summit taking place in Dakar, Senegal. According to the organization, this strong Canadian commitment will help the Vaccine Alliance reach an additional 300 million children and save an estimated 5–6 million lives over the next several years. Dominic Mishio, country director for the Global Poverty Project Canada, says, “Today’s announcement is key to strengthening vaccine delivery infrastructure, which is a crucial step to building stronger health systems that can tackle emergencies such as humanitarian disasters or outbreaks such as Ebola.”
For the past year The Global Poverty Project, together with RESULTS Canada, the ONE campaign and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has been pressuring the Prime Minister and his government to take action on this issue and announce a commitment to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The recent global petition produced by Global Poverty Project and the ONE campaign generated over 46,000 signatures in favour of funding increased access to life-saving vaccines. Further, the Global Poverty Project has leveraged its digital action platform, Global Citizen (www.globalcitizen.org) to raise awareness of the tremendous impact of funding vaccinations as part of effective foreign aid.
The role Canada can play over the next five years
• The world has made huge strides in increasing immunization coverage in poor countries around the world. We now have a critical opportunity to build upon and consolidate the gains we’ve achieved so far by investing together in the unfinished agenda of global immunization.
• Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, must mobilize $7.5 billion in additional resources for its next strategic period, 2016-2020.
• With this additional funding, Gavi-eligible countries would be able to immunize an additional 300 million children, resulting in 5-6 million lives saved.
What is at Stake?
• Over 22 million children remain unprotected by basic childhood vaccines.
• Vaccines are a development “best buy”, cutting healthcare costs & disease burden, increasing school attendance, improving opportunities for women & girls, and leading to increased economic development.
• Since 2000, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has helped immunize close to half a billion children, saving over 6 million lives.
• Gavi has been able to revolutionize the economics of vaccines—helping reduce vaccine prices through public-private partnerships, supply chain innovation, increasing recipient country ownership and helping ensure stable long-term funding.
• Over the next five years, the Vaccine Alliance can nearly double its impact, immunizing another 300 million children to save an estimated 5-6 million additional lives. This would also unlock an estimated economic impact of USD 80-100 billion.
• Gavi invests in health systems (including infrastructure, the vaccine cold chain & delivery systems) that are critical for addressing other health emergencies such as Ebola.
What is Gavi?
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is an innovative public-private partnership, launched in 2000 to fund vaccines for children in the world's poorest countries. Its mission is to save children’s lives and protect people’s health by increasing access to immunization in the world’s poorest countries—where 85% of the world’s 22 million unvaccinated children live.
Through the leadership of developing countries and support from the United States, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the private sector including the vaccine industry, UNICEF, WHO, the World Bank as well as other donors and partners, Gavi has provided funding to immunize close to half a billion children, which will lead to 6 million lives saved.
Gavi’s unique model has not only created market-based solutions to significantly lower the cost of vaccines but also requires all Gavi-eligible countries to contribute financially toward the cost of the vaccines. These innovations further strengthen the long-term sustainability of Gavi immunization programs in the developing world.
About The Global Poverty Project Canada: The Global Poverty Project is an international education and advocacy organization working to grow the number and effectiveness of Global Citizens taking action to achieve the public, business and political commitment and action to end extreme poverty by 2030.
Through its advocacy, over 250,000 Global Citizens have taken over 1.75 million advocacy actions leading to over 35 policy and funding commitments. Active in Canada since 2013, the Global Poverty Project has played a key role in campaign wins on polio eradication, global health and education. This Fall, at GPP's third annual Global Citizen Festival in New York's Central Park, world leaders joined artists like Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Sting and 60,000 Global Citizens to announce development commitments affecting 259 million lives by 2020. Through its vaccination advocacy campaigning in Canada, GPP is looking to build on this momentum to help build a world where every child can survive and thrive. Join the conversation: visit our website at globalcitizen.org, "like" us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @GLBLCTZN.