Reem bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, spoke about the UAE's efforts to support global vaccine initiatives in a panel session with Gavi at the World Economic Forum's 48th Annual Meeting, which took place from 23rd � 26th January, 2018, in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.
Gavi is a global Vaccine Alliance that brings together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world's poorest countries.
During the session, which was attended by Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and a number of high-level representatives, Al Hashimy said the UAE has been a staunch and generous supporter of global vaccine campaigns, making its first pledge to support immunisation in developing countries through Gavi in 2011, under the support of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
''From 2011 to 2015, the UAE pledged contributions of US$33 million as part a joint funding of $100 million from the UAE and Bill Gates Foundation for an immunisation programme in Afghanistan for pneumococcal, meningitis and diphtheria,'' she told the delegates.
In 2017, she said, the UAE committed $5 million to Gavi to support its Innovation for Uptake, Scale and Equity in Immunisation, INFUSE, initiative. Launched at the 2016 World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, INFUSE helps developing countries accelerate the introduction of tried-and-tested technology, which will modernise their immunisation systems.
The UAE minister congratulated the Vaccine Alliance team for their significant efforts to save 10 million children and applauded their work to adopt the highest standards of innovation in modernising health systems across the world.
''To deliver vaccines to a billion people, we must work to develop benchmarks for success and identify phases of ending dependence on Gavi services by a well-studied plan and provision of the financial and technical support for the countries in need.
''In future, Gavi will identify successful countries that can provide support for others and transfer technology and knowledge, paving the way for local solutions,'' she added.
In conclusion, the UAE minister said, "We must diligently continue our quest towards comprehensive solutions as many children in developing countries are in desperate need of vaccines."
Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, lauded the UAE's humanitarian and developmental role in many countries and, in particular, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed for his contribution to initiatives aimed at preventing the spread of epidemics and diseases.
''The Vaccine Alliance plays a pivotal role in encouraging innovation in immunisation and health system strengthening," he said.
Source: UAE MINISTRY OF FOREGIN AFFAIRS