Major conference will raise funds to vaccinate millions of the world’s poorest children.
The UK will host a major international conference in 2020 to raise funds for life-saving vaccinations for some of the world’s poorest children, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt announced today.
The conference will bring together political leaders, civil society, public and private donors, vaccine manufacturers and governments to support the global vaccination body Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which has protected 700 million children in countries like Malawi, Haiti and Cameroon from diseases like measles, whooping cough and pneumonia since 2000.
More recently Gavi has delivered the first ever cholera vaccination campaign in Yemen, which helped protect more than 450,000 people. Last year alone, Senegal became the first Gavi-supported country in West Africa to introduce the HPV vaccine into its routine immunisation programme, protecting 200,000 nine-year-old girls against cervical cancer.
Hosting this conference demonstrates the UK’s ongoing commitment to global health security and creating equal access to vaccines for children, wherever they live. UK aid already supports Gavi and our contribution will vaccinate 76 million children, saving 1.4 million lives from vaccine-preventable diseases by 2020.
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:
“The UK’s commitment to immunise millions of children and save lives is delivered through our partnership with Gavi and I am delighted the UK will be hosting the Gavi conference in 2020.
“Immunisation is a vital part of all our lives and no child should suffer by at the hands of a vaccine-preventable disease. But tragically over half a million children continue to die in Africa every year from vaccine preventable diseases.
“By bringing together international donors at this conference we can help create a healthier, safer and more prosperous world which is in all of our interests.”
Gavi CEO Dr Seth Berkley said:
“The UK helped create Gavi and has been one of our strongest supporters ever since. But for us British support means more than the vital funding and guidance we receive from the UK government. The UK supports Gavi’s mission in many other ways, from British innovations like GSK’s lifesaving vaccines or Dulas’ solar vaccine fridges, to British academics from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine or Imperial College London, to British advocates like Comic Relief or Save the Children.
“That’s why I’m delighted we are returning to the UK for our third replenishment, where I hope the UK will again help us to continue our work protecting children across the world against some of the world’s deadliest diseases.”
Gavi Board Chair Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said:
“Vaccines don’t just build healthier societies, they build healthier economies. I’ve seen this for myself during my time as Finance Minister for Nigeria: children that have been protected against severe, debilitating illnesses are more likely to go to school, are more likely to get good jobs and are less likely to have parents and siblings taking time off work to care for them.
“That’s why I’d like to thank the UK for its offer to host this replenishment and for its wider leadership in global health. Next year’s event will help Gavi to build on the $150 billion worth of economic benefits it has already helped to generate and give many more children a platform on which to build a brighter future.”
The UK is Gavi’s largest donor and is currently responsible for 25% of Gavi’s budget and UK aid is helping to ensure children in the world’s poorest countries receive the vaccines they need.
Next year’s event builds on previous Gavi replenishment conferences, the first hosted in London in 2011 – which raised US$ 4.3 billion and was attended by Bill Gates.
Since its last replenishment in Berlin in 2015, which raised US$7.5 billion, Gavi has also helped 15 countries to transition out of Gavi support and fund 100% of their own vaccination programmes.
Gavi helps drive down the price of vaccinations by pooling demand from the world’s poorest countries which has helped boost vaccine coverage from 60% to 80% in Gavi-supported countries since 2000.