Donors pledge $8.8 billion to fund global vaccine drive | News | DW | 04.06.2020
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Donors pledge $8.8 billion to fund global vaccine drive

The figure exceeds the original target sought by the GAVI vaccine alliance. The world's current focus may by on coronavirus, but other diseases such as measles, polio and typhoid are also being targeted.

The GAVI vaccines alliance said Thursday it had raised $8.8 billion (€7.8 billion) from international donor governments, companies and philanthropic foundations to fund its immunisation programmes through to 2025.

The London-based funding summit overshot the target of $7.4 billion.

The pledges from governments, companies and charities would "help immunize 300 million more children in the world's poorest countries against diseases like measles, polio and diphtheria."

Read more: Coronavirus vaccine human tests show initial promise

The association said it raised $567 million from international donors to buy future COVID-19 vaccines. Once a vaccine has been developed, GAVI aims to buy enough vaccines to immunize health workers and risk groups in poorer countries, as well as accrue a "buffer of doses" for emergency use.

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Who pledged what?

Germany pledged €700 million to GAVI, with Chancellor Angela Merkel saying that global vaccination campaign should be launched as soon as possible.

"Vaccination saves lives," Merkel said. "This must not be dependent on the country one lives in."

Germany's pledge includes €600 million for GAVI's programs in the next five years, and €100 million to fight the coronavirus.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who acted as the host of the virtual summit, said the UK would earmark 1.65 billion pounds ($2.08 billion, €1.84 billion) for the programs within the next five years.

Read more: In Germany, vaccine fears spark conspiracy theories

"Let's fortify this lifesaving alliance and inaugurate a new era of global health co-operation, which I believe is now the most essential shared endeavor of our lifetimes," Johnson said.

France, the EU, Canada, and Japan each pledged hundreds of millions of dollars for the global organization.

UN chief Antonio Guterres called on world leaders to cooperate and help create COVID-19 vaccine "as a global public good — a people's vaccine."

What is GAVI?

GAVI, previously known as Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations, was founded in 2000 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Its goal is to increase vaccination rate worldwide, especially among children. On Thursday, the Gates foundation pledged $1,6 billion to GAVI's five-year effort and said it would give another $100 million to buy COVID-19 vaccines for poorer countries.

dj/rt (dpa, Reuters)

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