Generating EU level support for the GAVI Alliance
Every year, more than 8.1 million children around the world die from preventable diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria, HIV and measles, and millions more suffer serious illness and permanent disability. In 1990 the number of children dying annually was more than 12 million, so we have made very significant progress. However in order to reach Millennium Development Goal 4 on reducing child mortality by two thirds by 2015 the world needs to be reducing child deaths four times faster than we currently are. One of the best methods we have to save children’s lives and health is vaccination.
In June the GAVI Alliance, which saves children’s lives through increasing access to immunisation in the developing world, is holding a pledging conference to secure the money they need for the next four years. This month we are asking you to write to your MEPs to ask them to support the funding drive.
(Image courtesy of Julien Harneis)
This action has been incredibly successful. We have received a variety of excellent responses to our action. Firstly, we have seen two letters from our activists that came from DfID. In these two letters the Andrew Mitchell stated his intention to raise the issue of GAVI pledging at the formal meeting of Development Ministers in May 22nd -one of our stated asks. They also outlined their intention to increase funding to GAVI provided they had cross European support.
Our action directed at MEPs is providing that impetus. We have seen a European Parliamentary question tabled (not yet answered) by Dr Charles Tannock MEP, who represents our London group members, on the issue of EU budgetary support for GAVI. This represents long term support for GAVI through EU financing mechanisms and provides the kind of investment that Andrew Mitchell is discussing.
Further, we have received letters from Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP, who represents members of our London group. Baroness Ludford strongly supports GAVI funding and is keen to push the EU and DfID on the issue. She has written two strong letters to Andrew Mitchell, requesting that he raise the issue at the General Affairs Committee meeting of the European Parliament, and two more letters to Andris Piebalgs, the Chair of the Development Committee in the European Parliament, asking him about increased budgetary support for GAVI in the next EU budget (due in 2014 and lasting 7 years).
We have also received responses from a number of other MEPs stating their intention to write to Andrew Mitchell requesting that he further prioritise GAVI funding. Further, we recently received a response from Sharon Bowles MEP, who represents members of our Oxford group, stating her intention to raise the issue with Chris Davis MEP who sits on the Health Committee of the European Parliament, to push him over the issue of increased funding. Finally, RESULTS UK has subsequently been invited to attend the GAVI pledging conference in June, to make our voice heard in the discussion over renewed funding. The response we have seen on this issue has been nothing short of astounding. A massive thank you and congratulations to everyone who took action.