The Australian Government will today renew its commitment to the delivery of vaccines, otherwise unaffordable to children in developing countries.

At a replenishment conference for 'Gavi the Vaccine Alliance' chaired by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Australia will commit $250 million from 2016 to 2020. Our pledge follows on from our previous contribution to Gavi of $250 million over five years.

I have asked Australia’s Ambassador to Germany David Ritchie to represent me at the Berlin conference and confirm Australia's pledge.

Support for Gavi directly benefits Australia’s closest neighbours, where almost half of the world’s 22 million under-vaccinated children are living. Since 2000, 440 million children in developing countries have been immunised with one or more Gavi vaccines. Gavi estimates that the number of lives saved by its immunisation programs now tops seven million.

Australia looks forward to working with Gavi to ensure countries in our region can maintain routine immunisation programs, as their national incomes rise.

Gavi’s focus on innovative finance mechanisms aligns with the Australian Government’s commitment to diversifying funding sources for development. Australia is a long-term supporter of Gavi’s International Finance Facility for Immunisation which raises funds for Gavi by issuing bonds on capital markets.

I also welcome Gavi’s contribution to the Ebola crisis in West Africa. Gavi has offered to fund the production and procurement of newly developed Ebola vaccines.

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