When the new mandate begins in July it will start by giving a €125 million package to fund vaccines and immunisation programmes worldwide. The package was been agreed by outgoing European Commission President Barroso, one of his last announcements before he stood down.
The funding, which is more than double the package previously committed, will provide €25 million each year from 2014-2020.
The money will be given to GAVI (the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation) a global organisation which aim to increase access to immunisation in developing countries across the world.
The announcement follows the Commission’s adoption of the successful Written Declaration, drafted by myself and colleagues in 2012 which was passed after reaching, and exceeding, the required 372 MEP signatories. The Declaration called for the Commission to increase and continue to support the need for vaccines in developing nations.
I was appalled when I learnt that approximately 1.5 million children die each year from diseases which are entirely preventable if only they were vaccinated against them.
The funding is a hugely important commitment from the European Union which shows how seriously it takes the issue and the length it will go to in order ensure greater access to vaccines is achieved in all corners of the globe.
The latest round of funding will go a long way to treating those who are most vulnerable to treatable diseases. In addition, the European Commission has committed over €83 million to the GAVI Alliance since 2003. Some half a billion children have been immunised since 2000 saving an approximately six million lives, the Commission estimates.