Developing Countries: Coronavirus

Department for International Development written question – answered on 12th May 2020.

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Photo of Fleur Anderson Fleur Anderson Labour, Putney

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much funding her Department has allocated to support international health NGOs to continue pre-existing immunisation programmes in developing countries during the covid-19 pandemic.

Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

It is vital that routine immunisation programmes continue throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. If immunisation coverage is not maintained, we will face far worse public health emergencies around the world if measles, polio, yellow fever, cholera, and other deadly diseases spread in the absence of routine immunisation. That is why the UK’s commitment of the equivalent of £330 million per year for the next five years to fund Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance’s work is so critical. This will help fund the immunisation of up to 75 million children in the world’s poorest countries. Gavi is an alliance, working hand in glove with international health organisations such as the World Health Organization and UNICEF. The UK’s commitment of £400 million to polio for the next four years will support not only the vaccination of over 450 million children every year against polio, but also broader health systems that are currently proving essential to the COVID-19 response in many countries. Polio vaccinations will continue to be delivered where possible during the pandemic.

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