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On July 13, 2015, Alwaleed Philanthropies announced their commitment to protecting the lives of children through immunization programs. They have signed an agreement with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, worth $1 million.

According to their website, “Alwaleed Philanthropies supports and initiates projects around the world, regardless of gender, race, or religion. [They] collaborate with a range of philanthropic, governmental and education organizations to combat poverty, empower women and the youth, develop communities, provide disaster relief and create cultural understanding through education.”

Alwaleed Philanthropies has supported thousands of projects in over 90 countries and served millions of people across the globe for over 35 years.

The agreement with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance was negotiated in January at the Gavi Pledging Conference. This is the first time Alwaleed Philanthropies has provided support to Gavi.

The contribution from Alwaleed Philanthropies is multiple projects to support the vaccine needs in Timor Leste, Kiribati, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova and Guyana for the 2016 to 2020 period.

Gavi’s Resource Mobilization and Private Sector Partnerships Managing Director Marie-Ange Sarakao-Yao says, “We are very pleased that His Royal Highness Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal has decided to support Gavi through Alwaleed Philanthropies. Immunisation is one of the most effective ways of reducing preventable deaths in the poorest countries and thanks to this contribution, Gavi will be able to support developing countries with vaccines that protect children against preventable diseases.”

Every year, nearly 22 million children do not receive a full course of even the most basic vaccines. These children are mainly in poor countries. More than one in five of all children who die before the age of five lose their lives to vaccine preventable diseases.

Since 2000, Gavi has invested more than $3.8 billion to introduce vaccines to the members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). For the 2016 to 2020 period, Gavi predicts that 60% of its funding will support immunization programs in OIC who are eligible for Gavi support.

Since its introduction in 2000, Gavi has helped developing countries immunize over a billion children, saving seven million lives. World leaders joined German Chancellor Angela Merkel in January to raise $7.5 billion to ensure Gavi supported programs anticipated for the 2016 to 2020 time period

With this contribution, Gavi will be able to support an additional 300 million children with vaccines. Because of the funding it is receiving, Gavi is taking the steps to ensure all children will survive vaccine preventable diseases. Because not all families can afford vaccines, Gavi is the bridge between healthy children and the future of vaccinated children.

Kerri Szulak

Sources: Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulazaz Al Saud, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
Photo: Alwaleed Philanthropies