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UNICEF Canada Welcomes Government of Canada Increased Support To Save The Lives Of Children In Developing Countries

2011-06-12

TORONTO, June 14, 2011 - Every 20 seconds a child dies from a vaccine-preventable disease before their fifth birthday. However, major steps forward to vaccinate every child around the world were made on June 13, 2011 by public and private donors, including the Government of Canada, at the GAVI Alliance Pledging Conference in London, England. More than $3.7 billion was collectively pledged to support the vaccination of a quarter of a billion children in developing countries by 2015.

UNICEF is in the unique position of being involved at every stage of the immunization process, supplying vaccines to 56 per cent of the world’s children and working on the ground in over 150 countries. It is a founding partner in the GAVI Alliance.

While at the conference, The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation announced an increase in Canada's commitment to the GAVI Alliance in support of Canada's Muskoka Initiative to improve maternal, newborn and child health to help protect the lives of the world's most vulnerable children through immunization.

“UNICEF Canada is pleased with the government of Canada’s continued support to UNICEF and its partners in reducing the under-five child mortality rate by two-thirds by 2015,” said David Morley, President and CEO UNICEF Canada. “Canadian UNICEF supporters have also greatly supported our work in vaccinating the world’s most vulnerable children. In 2010 alone, nearly 10 million immunizations were supplied to children in developing countries," Morley adds.

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About UNICEF:
UNICEF is the world's leading child-focused humanitarian and development agency. Through innovative programs and advocacy work, we save children's lives and secure their rights in virtually every country. Our global reach, unparalleled influence on policymakers, and diverse partnerships make us an instrumental force in shaping a world in which no child dies of a preventable cause. UNICEF is entirely supported by voluntary donations and helps all children, regardless of race, religion or politics. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.