Donors pledge $4.3 bn for child vaccines
Donors pledged $4.3 billion at a conference Monday to vaccinate nearly 250 million children against life-threatening diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhoea.
The pledges surpassed the $3.7 billion (5.3 billion euro) target set by GAVI (the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation), and the group backed by Microsoft tycoon Bill Gates said it would help prevent the deaths of four million children.
"We have exceeded the figure that we set ourselves and we have received firm pledges for a sum of $4.3 billion," Britain's International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell announced at the end of the conference.
The pledges include £814 million ($1.3 billion, 920 million euros) in additional funding from Britain made by Prime Minister David Cameron as he opened the conference.
Gates followed Cameron's pledge by saying his charitable foundation would commit an additional one billion dollars over five years.
GAVI is aiming to immunise 243 million more children by 2015.
It has already vaccinated 288 million children in 19 countries and now wants to extend the programme of jabs to another 26 countries.
© 2011 AFP