Major immunisation conference sets the tone for a strong year for children, says World Vision

  • Leaders commit to fund the US$7.5 billion needed for immunisations
  • Funding, through the Gavi vaccine alliance, could save up to six million children in five years

It could have been a disastrous start to a critical year for children with a predicted US$500 million funding gap for immunisations. But World Vision applauds the pledge made by countries, under the leadership of Germany, to overcome the hurdle during the Gavi replenishment conference today.

This commitment, US$7.5 billion for 2016-2020, will help vaccinate an additional 300 million children in poor countries and has the potential to save up to six million children's lives in the next five years. But World Vision warns leaders that more needs to be done.

“We welcome the efforts made, but this is not a reason to tick child health off the priority list for upcoming events such as the G7 Summit in June,” says Dr Mesfin Teklu, World Vision’s vice president of health and nutrition. “Leaders must keep children, especially the most vulnerable, in the front of their minds as they make important decisions this year.”

This conference represents the first of many key meetings to take place during this critical year that will see a new set of goals agreed by all governments to replace the Millennium Development Goals that expire at the end of 2015.

“Today, world leaders have decided to invest in children,something that we believe is key to sustainable development as our Stop at Nothing: Post-2015 Goals for Children report outlines,” says Teklu. “Millions of people, mostly living in conflict-affected areas, have been left behind by the unfinished work of the Millennium Development Goals, and we can’t let that happen again.”

World Vision wants to see leaders agree new goals to end preventable child deaths, hunger and violence against children and the pledges made today for immunisation of children is a critical step in the right direction.

“Only when the girl from the poorest family in the most crowded slum or most remote village can grow to adulthood in good health and safety, and realise the dream her secondary education can provide, will we know we are achieving sustainable development. And World Vision believes we should stop at nothing to see that happen,” says Teklu.