“The European Union is proud to be part of this story”, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said in her message to the Global Vaccine Summit on 4 June that aimed to raise new funding to protect the next generation with vaccines. It was therefore natural for the EU to again join forces with Gavi when the coronavirus pandemic began, President von der Leyen continued.
Gavi has brought life-saving vaccines to millions of families that could not afford them, making “immunisation accessible to all across the globe”, von der Leyen said.
Established in 2000, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has helped vaccinate more than 760 million children in world’s poorest countries, preventing more than 13 million deaths.
Von der Leyen recognised that Gavi’s work extended beyond the current pandemic, as we must keep fighting polio, the human papilloma virus and other diseases.
In that respect, she announced the European Commission was pledging 300 million euros for Gavi for the 2021-2025 period, in the framework of the new EU budget. “This is more than all previous EU contributions taken together. And it comes on top of what EU Member States contribute”, von der Leyen explained.
“Vaccination is a universal human right. This is why Gavi was created, and why Europe will continue to be at its side”, she concluded.
The Global Vaccine Summit is an important milestone of the Coronavirus Global Response, launched on 4 May by the Commission President and its partners worldwide with the aim to enable universal access to affordable coronavirus vaccination, treatment and testing.
This pledging effort will culminate in a Global Pledging Summit on 27 June. Together with the international advocacy organisation Global Citizen, the Commission will step up the mobilisation of funding to enable the world to overcome this pandemic and avoid another.