Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April 25 Global Weekly Update

Funding GAVI to Save 4.2 Million Children's Lives by 2015: If We Don't Do It, Who Will?

The answer is, nobody. Right now there are no Congressional champions for vaccines even though the US helps fund GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations). We need champions in the House and Senate now because there is an incredible opportunity to roll out two new vaccinations (one for rotavirus and one for pnemococcal disease), in 44 countries. This will save an estimated 4.2 million children's lives by 2015. Since the rotavirus vaccination was introduced in the US in 2006, hospitalizations due to rotavirus have dropped 56 to 86 percent. In developing nations where rotavirus is the biggest diarrheal killer of kids under age five, the rotavirus vaccination could save 500,000 lives per year.
On June 13 donor nations will come together in the United Kingdom for a GAVI pledging conference. The outcome of the conference will determine whether we'll GAVI has the resources to save 4.2 million lives with these new vaccines. What is needed from the US is a 3-year pledge totaling $450 million. We must make these new medical innovations available around the globe. Here's what you can do:

Other Top Actions to Assure Funding for Vital Foreign Assistance Programs

  1. Call Your Senators. The House of Representatives passed a budget for 2012 that would make draconian cuts to foreign assistance programs—the same programs that boost US exports, according to the Chamber of Commerce, and make us safer, according to 70 retired military leaders. The Senate must refuse this approach to reducing deficits. It risks our economy, our security, and lives. Let both of your senators know that we expect them to do better.
Call Your Representatives. There are many members of Congress who understand the importance of foreign assistance to the US, and to the individuals and families it ultimately reaches. So there will be a foreign aid budget, even if your Representative or Senators doesn't like foreign aid. For more conservative members it's good to educate them about the importance of foreign aid to our economy, our security, and our global leadership, but also to encourage them to make sure that foreign aid is used wisely. Encourage them to support at least one of the effective solutions articulated in our appropriations requests (microfinance, TB, Global Fund, GAVI, Education for All). Call and ask for the foreign policy aide, make the request to support funding levels for one of our priorities noted above, and follow up by sending information. Our action sheet can help you with this.

1 comment:

  1. According to my "Taxpayer Receipt" from - 26% of my paid tax dollars funded national defense. Only .7% went to international humanitarian assistance. It seems like almost nothing to ask Congress to shift .3% from defense spending to life-saving programs like GAVI. Thanks for the information. I will call.