Alwaleed Philanthropies invests $5 million to mitigate disease in impoverished cities around the world


Alliance magazine


Alwaleed Philanthropies has made a new $5 million investment, in their partnership with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, in a proposed commitment to further prevent the spread of disease in low-income urban areas in which additional funds are proposed to be made between 2020 and 2024.

The global philanthropic foundation, chaired by HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz AlSaud, has made its investment through Gavi’s INFUSE initiative, which identifies groups known as ‘pacesetters,’ who are developing new innovations to improve vaccine access and delivery of vaccines. The initiative connects pacesetters to cities in need of vaccine innovation and provides them with funding and support. The new grant builds on the original US $1 million investment made in 2015 to support vaccines in Timor Leste, Kiribati, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Guyana for the 2016-2020 programme.

‘With the majority of the world’s population increasingly living in urban areas, and with more than 19.4 million children still unimmunised, we recognise that there has rarely been a more pressing need to support innovation in immunisation,’ said HRH Princess and General Secretary of Alwaleed Philanthropies, Lamia Bint Majid Al Saud, upon announcement of the partnership on 30 August 2019 at the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development.

It is claimed that by 2050, 70 per cent of the world’s population will be urbanized, adding 2.5 billion people to the city bustle and increasing risk of disease transmission and outbreaks. The partnership between INFUSE and Alwaleed Philanthropies will support innovations that will supposedly address immunisation challenges in the growing urban areas, more prone to disease due to under-immunised populations.

According to Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, ‘This new funding to INFUSE will help accelerate the introduction of innovations and technology to modernize vaccine delivery systems and ensure that vaccines protect all children against deadly diseases.’

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