Constituency Statement: Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance
Australia plays a vital and proud role in improving the health care available to millions of people across the Indo-Pacific region. This contribution was affirmed recently by our government’s important pledge of $300 million to Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance. Gavi provides access to vaccines for developing countries and, over the past two decades, has assisted in the lives of over 318 million children through immunisation. Gavi specifically targets the most vulnerable diseases preventable by vaccination in the poorest countries and the poorest groups within those countries.
Australia has long been a strong supporter for Gavi in Asia, and the latest pledge at the Global Vaccine Summit affirms our role as a leader in the region. But even now, as the world turns its focus to the coronavirus, it is the world’s poorest countries where millions of children are being affected by diseases such as polio, diphtheria and measles where we can’t let up on the cause of providing vaccinations to those people.
Over the next five years, Gavi will spend over $800 million to immunise over 140 million children. As part of this, Gavi will provide $200 million to continue immunisation programs through the COVID pandemic and will later organise catch-up immunisation campaigns once it is safe to do. Immediately to our north, over 400,000 children in neighbouring Papua New Guinea will receive life-saving vaccines, and four million Indonesian children will access pneumococcal vaccinations at a quarter of the cost. This is a wonderful contribution Australia is making.