NEW YORK (June 13, 2011) – The generosity and commitment of the donors at today's GAVI replenishment conference will benefit the lives of millions of the poorest and most vulnerable children around the world, UNICEF said today.
The $4.3 billion in total funding pledged signals a brighter future for children.
The children's agency said while 82% of the world's children receive vaccines, one in five children—those most vulnerable to disease and living in the hardest to reach communities—lack access to these lifesaving medicines.
"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," said Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director. "And UNICEF renews its pledge to redouble our own efforts to help governments and other partners deliver vaccines to the hardest to reach children."
UNICEF, a founding member of GAVI, supplies nearly 60% of the world's children with vaccines. In 2010 UNICEF purchased on behalf of GAVI and developing countries some 2.53 billion doses of traditional and new vaccines worth $750 million.
As the leading vaccine procurement agency in the world, with its supply division based in Copenhagen, UNICEF contributes to the health and security of the global vaccine market.
UNICEF's procurement workis guided by an over-arching vaccine security strategy that entails working with multiple, WHO-prequalified suppliers to discourage monopolies; accurately forecasting multi-year global vaccine needs in order to negotiate favorable prices and ensure an adequate supply of vaccines; and securing the safe and timely delivery of the vaccines to countries.
Beyond procurement, UNICEF works with governments to help deliver vaccines to communities via a "cold chain," train vaccinators, and ensure that care-givers understand the importance of immunization and how to access it.
The GAVI Alliance, UNICEF and partners aim to save an additional four million children’s lives by 2015 by increasing access to new and traditional vaccines. Despite significant progress in reducing childhood mortality, nearly two million children still die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases.
UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian aid organization in the world. Working in more than 150 countries, UNICEF provides children with health and immunizations, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency and disaster relief, and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States.
UNICEF is at the forefront of efforts to reduce child mortality worldwide. There has been substantial progress: the annual number of under-five deaths dropped from 13 million in 1990 to 8.8 million in 2008. But still, 22,000 children die each day from preventable causes. Our mission is to do whatever it takes to make that number zero by giving children the essentials for a safe and healthy childhood. .
For additional information, please contact:
Susannah Masur, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.880.9146, (m) 646.428.5010, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kiní Schoop, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.922.2634, email@example.com