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Alwaleed group invests $5m in vaccine initiative

DUBAI, September 2, 2019

Alwaleed Philanthropies, chaired by Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz AlSaud, a global philanthropic foundation, has invested 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 and 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.

Princess Lamia Bint Majid Al Saud, general secretary of Alwaleed Philanthropies, announced the partnership at the 7thTokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7), hosted by the Japanese government in Yokohama on 30th August.

She 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 under immunised, we recognise that there has rarely been a more pressing need to support innovation in immunisation.”

Every year INFUSE supports research, entrepreneurship and innovation in areas that help governments, healthcare organisations and other partners reach more children with life-saving vaccines. This year the investment from Alwaleed Philanthropies will support innovations uniquely positioned to address immunisation challenges in urban settings.

By 2050 nearly 70 per cent 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 per cent 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 life-saving 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 that modernize vaccine delivery systems and ensure vaccines protect all children against deadly diseases. On behalf of Gavi, I’d like to offer my sincere thanks to Alwaleed Philanthropies and HRH Princess Lamia bint Majid Al-Saud for their support.” – TradeArabia News Service




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