Gates gives £400m for poor children

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The Independent US

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is to give $750m (£400m) to provide vaccines for the world's poorest children, it announced yesterday.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is to give $750m (£400m) to provide vaccines for the world's poorest children, it announced yesterday.

The grant to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi) is similar to one it gave Gavi in 1999; the two grants are the largest the foundation has made.

Bill Gates, the Microsoft entrepreneur, said: "Supporting children's immunisation is undoubtedly the best investment we have ever made. In just five years, Gavi's efforts have saved hundreds of thousands of lives and its work in the coming years will save millions more.

"Today's commitments are only a down payment. Rich countries can and should increase immunisation funding to give children in developing countries a better shot at a healthy life."

The World Health Organisation says $8bn to $12bn will be needed over a decade to immunise children in the poorest countries.Since its launch five years ago, Gavi says it has prevented 670,000 deaths in the poorest parts of the worldby improving access to vaccines.

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