Wednesday, October 17 2001
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CANADA SUPPORTS GLOBAL ALLIANCE TO FIGHT CHILDHOOD
OTTAWA Maria Minna, Canadas Minister
for International Cooperation, today announced that the Canadian
International Development Agency (CIDA), will provide $10 million
over three years to support the Global Alliance on Vaccines and
Immunization (GAVI), a public and private sector partnership formed
to combat preventable childhood diseases through immunization in
the least developed countries.
This is the latest of a series of Canadian contributions
to help reduce the mortality rate of young children. CIDA has committed
some $50 million between 2000 and 2005.
Minister Minna made the announcement today with Gro
Harlem Bruntland, President of the World Health Organization, Carol
Bellamy, Executive Director of UNICEF, and Jacques-François
Martin, of the Vaccine Fund.
"Immunization is one of the most cost-effective
health procedures available and has been the most successful public
health measure over the last century, breaking the cycle of disease
and poverty, and contributing to a healthy and stable world,"
Minister Minna said.
"Canadas support highlights how important
it is for countries to take responsibility for the success of GAVI,"
Dr. Bruntland said. "That is to say, Canadas strong commitment
to global health, and immunization in particular, is and will continue
to have a major impact."
"The world is realizing more than ever that infectious
disease has no borders and that prevention is our best defence,"
Ms. Bellamy said. "GAVI partners and the Vaccine Fund are working
together to ensure that every child, everywhere has at least the
basic vaccines. Our mission is to help countries strengthen their
delivery systems to be able to provide vaccines traditional
ones as well as new ones as efficiently as possible."
"We are grateful that Canada has become the sixth
government contributor to The Vaccine Fund," said Mr. Martin
"Preventive vaccines are the world's best value in health care.
CIDA's contribution will allow us to reach many of the three million
people, most of them children, who die annually from vaccine-preventable
More than 3 million children die each year from preventable
diseases. Canada is committed to reducing the under-five child mortality
rate by two-thirds by 2015, one of the internationally agreed upon
Millennium Development Goals.
GAVI works to strengthen basic immunization services
as well as expanding the use of new and underused vaccines where
they address a public health problem. It will also support research
for developing new vaccines against diseases such as malaria, AIDS
or tuberculosis. Members include the World Health Organization,
UNICEF, the World Bank, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill and
Melinda Gates Children Vaccine Program and Foundation, the vaccine
R&D industry, donor governments and the governments of developing
Funding for this initiative was provided for in the
February 2000 federal budget and is therefore built into the existing
Office of the Minister for International Cooperation
Telephone: 819 953-3160
||Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: 819 953-6534
Web site: www.acdi-cida.gc.ca
(electronic version of document)