In the midst of a global pandemic, it is more important than ever to acknowledge that vaccines and routine immunizations save millions of lives each year. Canada remains committed to ensuring access to essential vaccinations, leading efforts to advance gender equality and reducing the burden of infectious diseases.
The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, today announced new support to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s end-game strategy, toward ensuring regular routine immunizations for hundreds of million children around the world. The Minister made this announcement at the launch of the Group of Friends of Solidarity for Global Health Security virtual meeting, which she co-hosted alongside her counterparts from Denmark, Qatar, the Republic of Korea and Sierra Leone.
This replenishment funding ensures that Gavi is able to build on its incredible reach with vaccinations by identifying opportunities for advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights programming, in partnership with communities and local organizations. Predictable financing will allow Gavi to save between 7 million and 8 million lives.
Gavi is currently helping low-income countries respond to COVID-19 outbreaks, including making additional funding available for strengthening health systems. When a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, Gavi will be well positioned to ensure the scale-up of manufacturing, access and allocation, along with timely delivery, of new vaccines in vulnerable countries.
At the same time, front line workers in many countries are using networks established by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to focus on case detection, tracing, testing and data management.
Global efforts to eradicate polio have already prevented 18 million cases of paralysis, and the wild poliovirus has been eliminated from 99.9% of the world’s regions. This is one of the great global health success stories of the last 30 years, and Canada is proud to have been a partner every step of the way-especially now, with victory and eradication so close.
Canada is pledging $600 million to the third replenishment of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and committing $47.5 million annually over four years to support the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s end-game strategy.
Today’s funding investments will help the World Health Organization, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Gavi and other partners support the most vulnerable countries by working to ensure that routine immunization continues, that we do not lose the gains we have made in global health and that we prevent a resurgence of polio and other communicable diseases for which we have vaccines.
“As a global community, we must work to ensure that those most vulnerable, including women and children, have access to vaccinations to keep them healthy wherever they live. COVID-19 has demonstrated that viruses do not know borders. Our health here in Canada depends on the health of everyone, everywhere. Together, we must build a more resilient planet.”
– Karina Gould, Minister of International Development
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is a global health partnership representing stakeholders in immunization from both private and public sectors. Since 2000, Gavi has supported the immunization of 760 million children and saved more than 13 million lives.
Since 2002, Canada has provided more than $1 billion in funding to Gavi, including $500 million for the current period from 2016 to 2020.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative was established in 1988; since then, 2.5 billion children have been vaccinated as a result. The world has never been closer to eradicating polio, but the job is not done. With continued transmission in Afghanistan and Pakistan, we cannot afford to be complacent.
The funding announced today is part of Canada’s renewed commitment to global health as announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Women Deliver Conference in June 2019. The Government of Canada committed to raise its funding to $1.4 billion annually by 2023 to support women’s and girls’ health around the world.