Alwaleed Philanthropies invests US$5mn to support global fight for vaccines

WhatsApp Image 2019 08 30 at 12.52.23 PMAlwaleed Philanthropies, chaired by Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz AlSaud, a philanthropic foundation, has made a fresh commitment to preventing the spread of disease by investing a further US$5mn in its partnership with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

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

The foundation will invest in 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 US$1mn 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 said, “With the majority of the world’s population increasingly living in urban areas, and with more than 19.4mn children still unimmunised, we recognise that there has rarely been a more pressing need to support innovation in immunisation.”

The investment from the foundation 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 approximately 2.5bn 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.

Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, said, “The foundation has been a steadfast supporter of our mission to ensure no child goes without life-saving vaccines.”

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

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