“The US Government will commit $1 billion over FY [fiscal year] 2015-2018 to Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, subject to Congressional approval,” the USAID statement read. “The US contribution will support Gavi’s plan to immunize 300 million additional children and save at least 5 million lives by 2020.”
According to USAID, its effort to work with international governments, officials and global Alliance partners has helped in supporting country immunization programs and bring critical, safe vaccines to children.
USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah said in the agency’s statement on Tuesday that the $1 billion donation would help to strengthen the US “national security, economic prosperity, and moral leadership.”
The United State’s donation to Gavi follows US President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address earlier in January, where he ‘embraced the vision of eradicating extreme poverty.”
Starting in 2012, a global initiative to end preventable child deaths by 2035 and to make progress towards “child and maternal survival,” known as the Child Survival Call to Action was launched, according to the USAID statement.
In the last two years since the global initiative began, 24 countries have lowered their infant mortality rates by eight percent for children under the age of five-years-old, which USAID says has saved 500,000 lives with the help of low-cost vaccines.