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Commitments from public and private donors announced this week will enable more than 250 million children in the world’s poorest countries to receive vaccines protecting them against life-threatening diseases.

Donors to the GAVI Alliance committed US$4.3 billion at its pledging conference in London on Monday, June 13, surpassing the goal of $3.7 billion. The increased support is projected to prevent 4 million premature deaths over the next four years from vaccine-preventable diseases, including pneumonia and rotavirus, the leading cause of death from diarrhea.

"PATH commends the commitments by donors across the globe that will support the lifesaving work of the GAVI Alliance," said PATH President and CEO Dr. Christopher J. Elias. "Among those commitments, the promise of $450 million over three years by the United States will be a critical complement to USAID's bilateral efforts to address the leading killers of children and will contribute to the eventual elimination of the most deadly form of meningitis in Africa. These contributions will go a long way toward ensuring that GAVI's goal of vaccinating 250 million children by 2015 becomes a reality." 

Lifesaving investment

The administrator for the US Agency for International Development called the US commitment of $450 million “one of the best, most cost-effective lifesaving investments we have ever made.” The British government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation together committed $2.3 billion, more than half of the total.

GAVI also estimates that developing countries will triple the total level of cofinancing for their vaccine programs by 2015 to $100 million. Last week, vaccine manufacturers announced they would offer steep price cuts on a range of vaccines procured by GAVI.

PATH had urged GAVI’s donors and partners to make additional investments in vaccines, an essential step toward a world where no child dies from a vaccine-preventable disease.

More information

Updated on June 14, 2011.