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LCIF Joins International Stakeholders for GAVI Alliance Vaccination Summit

Oak Brook, IL, USA, Oct. 30, 2013 – Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) Chairperson Wayne Madden joined key stakeholders in Stockholm, Sweden, to assess the mid-term results of the GAVI Alliance’s US$4.3 billion vaccination initiative.

The GAVI Alliance Mid-Term Review brought together more than 150 participants, including donors, implementing countries, vaccine manufacturers, and representatives from civil society and the private sector, to evaluate GAVI’s progress toward reaching its goal of immunizing 250 million children by 2015. GAVI will secure additional funding in 2015 to expand its vaccination goals.

In July, LCIF and the GAVI Alliance announced a unique partnership designed to protect millions of children in the world’s poorest countries against measles, a highly infectious disease that kills an estimated 430 people every day, mostly children.

“The partnership with GAVI is a great opportunity for Lions to continue their work in the fight against measles. Together, we can help create a safer, healthier and brighter future for the children who need us most,” said LCIF Chairperson Madden.

LCIF has committed to raising US$30 million to improve access to vaccines through the GAVI Alliance. The funds will be matched by the UK’s Department for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, bringing the total to US$60 million. Lions will play a key role in social-mobilization efforts in GAVI-supported vaccination campaigns.

LCIF also raised US$10 million for measles initiatives in 2011-12 as part of a Gates Foundation challenge grant that provided an additional US$5 million, bringing the total to US$15 million. As a result of Lions’ funding and local immunization support, more than 20 million children were vaccinated against measles.

As a forerunner to the GAVI Mid-Term Review, LCIF Chairperson Madden attended a “CEO Field Trip” in Ethiopia. The trip was designed to get leaders into the field so they could see firsthand how a GAVI-supported vaccination campaign is implemented and the impact that private sector funding has at the country level.

Chairperson Madden visited a clinic in Addis Ababa, the capitol of Ethiopia, that was offering vaccinations as part of the campaign. Madden talked with parents and clinic administrators about their challenges and successes in getting children vaccinated.

“When you see the children and parents whose lives are being impacted, it reinforces just how critical immunization efforts are. And it makes me feel incredibly proud of what Lions are doing to help,” said LCIF Chairperson Madden.

The GAVI Mid-Term Review was co-hosted by Hillevi Engström, Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation, and His Excellency Dramani Mahama, President of Ghana.

About Lions Clubs International

Lions Clubs International is the largest service club organization in the world. Our 1.35 million members in more than 46,000 clubs are serving communities in 207 countries and geographical areas around the globe. Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired, championed youth initiatives and strengthened local communities through hands-on service and humanitarian projects.  For more information about Lions Clubs International, visit lionsclubs.org.

About Lions Clubs International Foundation

Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) is the charitable arm of Lions Clubs International. Since its founding in 1968, LCIF has given more than $826 million in grants to support the work of Lions in their local and global efforts to save sight, serve youth, provide disaster relief, and meet humanitarian needs, including efforts to combat measles. Learn more at lcif.org.

About GAVI Alliance

The GAVI Alliance is a public-private partnership committed to saving children’s lives and protecting people’s health by increasing access to immunization in developing countries. The Alliance brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private sector partners. GAVI uses innovative finance mechanisms, including co-financing by recipient countries, to secure sustainable funding and adequate supply of quality vaccines. Since 2000, GAVI has financed the immunization of an additional 370 million children and prevented more than 5.5 million premature deaths. Learn more at gavialliance.org.

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Media Contact:

Christopher Bunch

Lions Clubs International

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