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Minister Sherlock announces €3 million in funding for vaccines to tackle childhood diseases

Funding, Ireland, Irish Aid, MoS Sean Sherlock, Press Releases, Africa, Ireland, 2015

Minister for Development, Seán Sherlock, today announced funding of €3 million for vaccines to reduce the number of children dying of preventable diseases.

The funding will be provided this year to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which works to provide vaccines to children living in the world’s poorest countries.

Minister Sherlock said:

“Gavi’s mission is to ensure that children in the world’s poorest countries receive vital vaccines which protect them from diseases which, although preventable, too often prove fatal. By making vaccines more affordable and accessible, Gavi has reached 500 million children since it was established in 2000 and estimate that they have prevented more than seven million deaths in the process.

"Our funding of €3 million will help Gavi to reach an additional 300 million children over the coming years, thus preventing an estimated five to six million deaths.”

“Ireland is deeply committed to investing in health systems in order to reduce the number of children who die as a result of diseases which we know how to prevent. Gavi’s impressive reach and the success of their model, which brings together both private and public sectors for maximum impact, make them an excellent partner for Ireland."

Minister Sherlock also noted that Gavi will contribute to the rollout of an Ebola vaccine when it becomes available.

He said: “This is particularly relevant for Ireland given that the affected countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia are both partner countries of Ireland and we are investing heavily in fighting this devastating disease.”

The €3 million announced today represents an increase of 20% on last year’s funding. It is being provided through Irish Aid, the Government’s programme for overseas development.

The pledge was made at an international conference in Berlin, 'Reach every child', which raised $7.54 billion dollars to support Gavi’s work to the year 2020. The conference, hosted by the German Government, was attended by major donors including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the UK, US, Germany, Norway & Canada, all of whom made substantial contributions.

ENDS
Press Office
27 January 2015

Notes to the Editor

• Irish Aid is the Government’s programme for overseas development. It is managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

• Gavi is an international organisation that was created in 2000 to improve access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, Gavi is the Vaccine Alliance, which brings together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to vaccines for children, wherever they live.

• For further information, see http://www.gavi.org

• Gavi has helped to increase global vaccination levels to over 80% and to reduce vaccine prices. GAVI’s annual spend is some €1.5bn. About 85% of expenditure is on the purchase of vaccines.