UNICEF commends US$4.3 billion immunization pledges

New York, US (PANA) - The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has congratulated the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) on its London conference, in which public and private donors pledged US$ 4.3 billion, which it said will save millions of lives.

UNICEF stated in a statement, made available to PANA in New York on Tuesday, that, "the generosity and commitment of the donors at Monday's GAVI replenishment conference will benefit the lives of millions of the poorest and most vulnerable children around the world."

It quoted UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake as saying that, "the outcome of this pledging conference is exciting and tremendous news, which will save millions of lives of the most threatened children around the world."

Lake also said: "UNICEF renews its pledge to redouble our own efforts to help governments and other partners deliver vaccines to the hardest to reach children."

The children’s agency said while 82 per cent of the world’s children receive vaccines, "one child in five, those most vulnerable to disease and living in the hardest to reach communities, lack access to these life-saving medicines."

UNICEF, a founding member of GAVI, supplies nearly 60 per cent of the world’s children with vaccines.  

In 2010, UNICEF purchased on behalf of GAVI and developing countries, about 2.53 billion doses of traditional and new vaccines, worth US$ 750 million.

The agency, however, stated: "Despite significant progress in reducing childhood mortality, nearly two million children still die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases."

Launched in 2000, the GAVI Alliance is a global health partnership of private and public sectors, comprised of, among others, developing world and donor governments, private sector philanthropists such as the Bill

14 june 2011 14:54:13

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