Department for International Development
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British aid to vaccinate a child every two seconds

British aid will help vaccinate a child in the developing world every two seconds for the next five years, the Prime Minister announced yesterday.

Over 80 million under-fives living in some of the poorest countries in the world will be vaccinated against killer diseases like pneumonia and diarrhoea with the help of British aid as part of a broader collective effort.

Opening a four-hour push to save lives hosted by David Cameron, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (President of Liberia) and Bill Gates (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), the Prime Minister called on other donors to dig deep in order to reach the target of vaccinating at least a quarter of a billion children in the next five years in order to save the lives of four million children.

Britain has been lobbying international donors to contribute significant sums to GAVI since the turn of the year when it became clear it was a top performer in International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell’s root-and-branch aid review, securing an unprecedentedly wide base of potential donors.

Other donors attending the GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation) Pledging Conference included the Prime Minister of Norway, Ministers from Sweden, Canada, France and Japan , and the head of USAID.

They were joined by representatives from those working on the ground such as UNICEF and WHO and from pharmaceutical companies to hammer out a pledge over the course of this morning in a life saving partnership between UK Government aid and other donors, philanthropists, the private sector, and developing countries themselves.

Prime Minister David Cameron said today:

“GAVI was one of the very top performers in our root-and-branch review of the agencies that deliver British aid because it demonstrates tangible results. Britain will play its full part and our support to GAVI will help vaccinate over 80 million children and save 1.4 million lives. That’s one child vaccinated every two seconds for five years,”

Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development, said:

“In just four hours today we have given a mother in Kinshasa the chance to see her child reach her fifth birthday, allowed a child in Juba to attend school for the first time and given a nurse in Dakar the power to protect a child forever, not treat them as they die.

“Vaccinations are proof positive that well spent aid saves lives. The UK has worked hard to bring in new partners and get existing donors to increase the size of their contribution so that we can save more lives.”

As part of the Government’s drive to deliver maximum value for taxpayers’ money, the International Development Secretary promised to increase funding to high performing organisations while cutting cash to poor performers.

The UK today pledged an additional £163 million a year for the next five years which is conditional on results. GAVI will need to continue to reach the poorest people, strengthen health delivery systems, negotiate the lowest prices with the pharmaceutical industry and continue to attract new donors

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