The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced that the U.S. Government will commit $1 billion to The Vaccine Alliance, Gavi, in the 2015-2018 fiscal years to help vaccinate 300 million children worldwide.A statement from USAID indicates that the amount announced is subject to congressional approval.It further states that the U.S. contribution will support Gavi’s plan to immunize 300 million additional children and save at least 5 million lives by 2020.If approved by the U.S. Congress, the US$1 billion will benefit Africa, especially Sub-Saharan Africa where Polio, whopping cough, diphtheria and tetanus have been affecting children with Ebola now taking center stage.“Providing a new and underutilized vaccine to the world’s poorest countries is a key driver in ending preventable child deaths by 2035,” the statement notes.Accordingly, USAID will be working closely with host country governments, Ministries of Health and Finance, and in-country and global Alliance partners, and will bring its financial, technical, and diplomatic efforts together to support country immunization programs to reach all children with critical, safe vaccines.”GAVI represents a groundbreaking effort that has unified a global community of partners — from rural clinics to multinational corporations — in the fight to end the tragedy of preventable child death,” said USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah. “In doing so, we are strengthening our own national security, economic prosperity, and moral leadership.”For the third year in a row in his State of the Union address, President Obama embraced the vision of eradicating extreme poverty. USAID’s support for vaccines and immunization is foundational to these efforts.In June 2012, the world came together for the Child Survival Call to Action: A Promise Renewed, to craft a global goal to end preventable child deaths by 2035 and pioneer new approaches to accelerate progress towards child and maternal survival. In the last two years alone, 24 priority countries – of which 16 are in Africa – have achieved an eight percent reduction in under-five mortality, saving 500,000 lives. Many of these lives were saved by simple, low-cost, high-impact health interventions like vaccines. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance was created in 2000, bringing together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries.Since then, GAVI has helped immunize nearly 500 million children; saving 7 million lives, driven down the costs of life-saving vaccinations, and has helped the poorest countries expand their vaccination programs, the statement said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Five stories in the news for Tuesday, June 19———CANNABIS BILL HEADS BACK TO SENATEA federal bill to legalize recreational cannabis was bounced back to the Senate on Monday, where the government’s representative argued it’s time to get on with lifting Canada’s almost century-old prohibition on marijuana. The House of Commons voted 205-82 to reject 13 amendments passed by Senate, including one which would have authorized provinces to prohibit home cultivation of marijuana plants if they choose. Senators now have to decide whether to defer to the will of the elected government or insist on some or all of their amendments, digging in for a protracted parliamentary battle.———CONSERVATIVES STEAL QUEBEC RIDING FROM LIBERALSThe Conservatives have stolen a Quebec riding away from Justin Trudeau’s ruling Liberals, in the first test of Andrew Scheer’s effort to recreate the nationalist-conservative coalition that helped federal Tories dominate the province in the 1980s. Conservative candidate Richard Martel captured 52.7 per cent of the vote in a federal byelection held in Chicoutimi-Le Fjord — more than 5,000 votes ahead of Liberal Lina Boivin, who took 29.5 per cent. Just 36 per cent of eligible voters bothered to cast ballots. The byelection was precipitated by the resignation of rookie Liberal MP Denis Lemieux.———CHARGE LAID IN TORONTO SUBWAY DEATHToronto police say a 57-year-old man faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of a man who was apparently pushed in front of a train at one of the city’s busiest subway stations Monday morning. Det. Rob North told a news conference Monday night that police are looking for witnesses to the incident. He also appealed for anyone who may know the victim, who has yet to be identified, to come forward. Toronto Transit Commission spokesman Brad Ross said intentional deaths on the subway system are extremely rare, adding the last case took place in 1997 when someone was deliberately pushed onto the tracks.———REMAINING PROTESTERS ARRESTED AT REGINA CAMPPolice have arrested protesters who remained at a camp on the lawn outside the Saskatchewan legislature, but said they would allow a sacred fire to burn down before removing a teepee from the site. Demonstrators at the “Justice for our Stolen Children” camp had been protesting racial injustice and the disproportionate number of Indigenous children apprehended by child-welfare workers. Police and government officials evicted most of the camp on Friday morning and the remaining people were supposed to have left the site by noon Sunday.———LOW-COST AIRLINES HOPE TO TAKE OFF IN CANADACompetition is heating up for Canada’s most price-sensitive travellers as WestJet Airlines gears up to launch the country’s second ultra-low cost airline Wednesday. Swoop, an offshoot of WestJet, will make its maiden flight on its pink and white aircraft before the sun rises in Hamilton, Ont. on a trip to Abbotsford, B.C. By discounting travel, Swoop, Flair Airlines and others are trying to repatriate the more than five million Canadians who cross the border to catch flights from airports in Buffalo and Plattsburgh, N.Y., and Birmingham, Wash.———ALSO IN THE NEWS:— A general court martial will be held in Halifax for Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, a military police officer accused of sexual assault— A judicial review will be held in the case of Abdoul Abdi, a former Somali child refugee who was never granted Canadian citizenship while growing up in foster care in Nova Scotia.— Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde to meet with federal, provincial and territorial ministers in Yellowknife on how to revitalize and protect First Nations languages.— Former NDP MP Paul Dewar launches his Youth Action Now initiative in support of youth leadership. He will also be recognized for his years of service to the community.— Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains makes an announcement on digital and data transformation.