KATHMANDU, June 5: Nepal has participated in the Global Vaccine Summit 2020 that raised an additional US$ 8.8 billion for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI) to develop vaccines for various new diseases including the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Over 300 participants representing governments, UN agencies, the private sector and philanthropic institutions participated in the summit held on Thursday. The summit aimed at garnering support to develop vaccines for various diseases including COVID-19, reducing disease inequality and creating a healthier world.
In her video message to the virtual summit hosted by the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in association with the GAVI, President Bidya Devi Bhandari stressed the need for ensuring equitable access of vaccines to all.
While calling upon the international community to come forward with renewed commitments for this noble cause, President Bhandari appreciated the contribution made by GAVI in the health sector, particulary toward achieving health-related SDGs.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), President Bhandari also expressed solidarity to all global initiatives for shared happiness and wellbeing, while highlighting the achievements made by Nepal through the immunization program. She also extended her best wishes to the scientists involved in the development of the vaccine against COVID 19.
At the end of the conference, a ‘Chair’s Summary’ was issued highlighting the pledges and commitments made by GAVI partners. The event coincides with the 20thanniversary of the launch of GAVI, a public-private initiative working for improving access to immunisation in the developing countries, including Nepal.
During the Summit, world leaders pledged an additional US$ 8.8 billion for GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, far exceeding the target of US$ 7.4 billion. The funding will help immunise 300 million more children in the world’s poorest countries against diseases like measles, polio and diphtheria by the end of 2025. It will also support health systems to withstand the impact of coronavirus and maintain the infrastructure necessary to roll out a future COVID-19 vaccine on a global scale.
Representatives from 52 countries, including 35 heads of states, joined leaders from global health organizations, the private sector, vaccine manufacturers and civil society organizations to support the Vaccine Alliance’s work protecting almost half the world’s children against deadly, preventable infectious diseases.
GAVI, the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF have warned that 80 million children under the age of one are at the risk of disease due to disruptions to vital immunisation programmes because of COVID-19.