Andris Piebalgs, the man in charge of the world’s second biggest aid budget (the EU Development Commissioner) spoke with us this afternoon from the GAVI conference and reflected that the action called for by over 300,000 ONE members was heard by politicians, when they agreed to increase funding for vaccines today. He also talked about the importance of the work of GAVI, and the fantastic results of today’s pledging conference.
Commissioner Piebalgs has announced an EU pledge for an extra €10 million over the next three years. Speaking to the 300,000 ONE members who signed our vaccines petition, he also showed his commitment to increasing the EU’s commitment in the future by saying: ‘I hope in future we can increase our pledge to GAVI’. This has boosted hopes for an ambitious increase for GAVI in the next long-term budget of the EU. ONE is asking the Commissioner to allocate €50 million each year to GAVI in the next seven year budget starting from 2014, and your voices as ONE members will be crucial in getting us there. The Commission spends over €500 million per year on helping developing countries to improve their overall health systems, which ONE applauds, and we look forward to working closely with the Commission over the coming months to make sure that the EU’s new development policy serves the very poorest and helps achieve the vital Millennium Development Goals (poverty reduction targets all governments agreed, due to be achieved by 2015).