Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance raised a whopping US $8.8 billion at the first ever virtual Global Vaccine Summit co-hosted by the United Kingdom, surpassing the fundraising goal of US $7.4 billion for 2021-25.
“We have secured a fantastic US $8.8. billion for GAVI’s work over the next five years and I’d like to thank everyone very, very much,” said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson at yesterday’s event.
Why is this important?
While much of the money will go to funding GAVI’s routine immunization programmes, the public-private partnership is also poised to play a major role in the rollout of a future Covid-19 vaccine.
And in a rare show of multilateralism, United States President Donald Trump sent a video message of support after Johnson personally reached out. Although Trump did not specify the US pledge amount in his message, the United States Agency for International Development had announced in February a pledge of US $1.16 billion.
”There are no borders, [the virus] doesn’t discriminate, it’s been it’s nasty but we can all take care of it together. It’s great to be partnering with [GAVI]. We will work hard, we will work strong…good luck, let’s get the answer,” said Trump, under fire from critics at home and abroad for his handling of massive civil unrest in the wake of the police murder of a black Minneapolis man.
Solutions: Individual health depends on collective health
Over 25 heads of state and 50 leaders of international agencies, NGOs and private industry attended the fundraising event for GAVI, which supports vaccine programmes in over 80 low-income countries. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel; UN Secretary General António Guterres; European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen; and World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus were among those who sent messages of support.
“The vaccine by itself is not enough. Now is the time for global solidarity…to ensure that every person everywhere gets access to the vaccine,” said Guterres. “In our global village, our individual health depends on our collective health.”