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Wed 4 Sep 2019 10:21 AM

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Alwaleed Philanthropies invests $5m to support global fight for vaccines

Partnership with Gavi, the funding alliance, will provide extra funding between 2020 and 2024

Alwaleed Philanthropies invests $5m to support global fight for vaccines
Princess Lamia Bint Majid Al Saud, general secretary of Alwaleed Philanthropies

Alwaleed Philanthropies, chaired by HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the global philanthropic foundation, has made a fresh commitment to preventing the spread of disease by investing a further $5 million in its partnership with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

The commitment will provide extra funding between 2020 and 2024 to support organisations known by Gavi as ‘pacesetters’ that are developing new innovations to improve vaccine access and delivery, particularly in urban areas.

The foundation will make the investment through Gavi’s INFUSE initiative (Innovation for Uptake, Scale and Equity in Immunisation), which identifies these ‘pacesetters’, provides funding and support for them, and connects them to authorities in countries that need vaccination support.

The grant is part of a range of efforts by Alwaleed Philanthropies to improve routine immunisation and contributes to Gavi’s mission to ensure that every child is immunised with basic life-saving vaccines no matter where they live.

It builds on the original $1 million investment made in 2015 to support vaccines in Timor Leste, Kiribati, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Guyana for the 2016-2020 programme.

HRH Princess Lamia Bint Majid Al Saud, general secretary of Alwaleed Philanthropies, said: “Alwaleed Philanthropies places huge importance on its partnership with the Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance – and specifically their INFUSE Initiative – to boost immunisation in the world’s poorest countries. With the majority of the world’s population increasingly living in urban areas, and with more than 19.4 million children still unimmunised, we recognise that there has rarely been a more pressing need to support innovation in immunisation.”

The investment from Alwaleed Philanthropies will support innovations uniquely positioned to address immunisation challenges in urban settings.

By 2050 nearly 70 percent of the world’s population will live in urban settings. The rapid growth will add nearly 2.5 billion people to urban areas, with 90 percent of the expansion occurring in Asia and Africa.

These large, highly populated urban settings with mobile, transient and under-immunised populations lend themselves to an increased risk of disease transmission and outbreaks.

“Alwaleed Philanthropies has been a steadfast supporter of our mission to ensure no child goes without lifesaving vaccines,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

“This new funding to INFUSE will help accelerate the introduction of innovations and technology to modernize vaccine delivery systems and ensure that vaccines protect all children against deadly diseases.”

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