British High Commissioner meets Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on health ahead of the Global Vaccines Summit in the UK

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British High Commissioner Christian Turner met with the Special Adviser to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Zafar Mirza today to exchange views on the eve of the virtual Global Vaccines Summit being hosted by the UK on 4 June.

The UK has pledged a record funding of £1.65 billion to GAVI, the Global Vaccine Alliance, which distributes vaccines in the poorest countries. The UK aims to raise a further £7 billion through the Vaccines Summit to support GAVI’s important work and in the virtual summit to ensure that a corona vaccine is available for all countries, including Pakistan.

In the meeting, Dr Zafar Mirza pledged Pakistan’s participation and support to the Global Summit including Prime Minister’s Imran Khan’s call for ‘people’s vaccine against COVID19 and thanked the High Commissioner for UK’s help to Pakistan in fighting coronavirus including immediate health and humanitarian assistance.

During the meeting, the British High Commissioner Christian Turner said;

This is a global pandemic which needs a global response to find a global vaccine made available for all. I am pleased that the UK is co-hosting the Global Vaccines Summit to ensure that; and to support PM Imran Khan’s call for a people’s vaccine against Covid19.

The UK and Pakistan is the best example of international friendship – and that matters more than ever now. In Pakistan, we are repurposing our multi-million pound UK aid programme to help defeat this terrible virus and mitigate its impacts.

SAPM Health Zafar Mirza said;

The Government of Pakistan fully supports this very important initiative. GAVI needs to be strengthened and its funding for the next 5 years needs to be ensured. Pakistan is also one the largest recipients of GAVI and we’re thankful to the UK and other donors for their impactful work in immunising children.

We look forward to the development of Coronavirus Vaccine and its equitable distribution to all countries. PM Khan has already given a call for ‘people’s vaccine’ to be available to all.

Note to editors:

  • The UK has so far pledged £764 million of UK aid to end the coronavirus pandemic as quickly as possible. By preventing the virus from spreading in vulnerable countries, we will save millions of lives around the world and reduce the risk of future waves of infection.
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson committed record funding of £250m at the Coronavirus Global Response Initiative the UK co-hosted in May to raise funding for research and development into vaccines, effective treatments and better testing.
  • The UK is proud to pledge £1.65 billion to Gavi for 2021-2025. This will support Gavi’s mission to immunise a further 300 million children and save up to 8 million lives.
  • Gavi is a major investment for the UK and this has paid dividends, over 760 million of the world’s poorest children have been vaccinated through Gavi support since 2000, saving 13 million lives whilst promoting global health security and greater primary healthcare. The UK is proud to have played a significant role in delivering these extraordinary results, through our contributions to Gavi since its inception, in 2000. We remain committed to prioritising the interests of the world’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged people.
  • As hosts of the 2020 Global Vaccine Summit, our priority will be to help Gavi secure the funding it needs to further deliver its life-saving work. The UK will also demonstrate its continued leadership in global health, innovation, technology and private finance mobilisation.
  • Pakistan is the largest recipient of Gavi support with over US$ 929 million disbursed for immunisation between 2000 and 2016; £20.2 million disbursed in 2018/2019. The UK share of disbursements to Pakistan amounts to approximately £154 million for the investment period 2016-2020.
  • Around 84% of Gavi support in Pakistan is for vaccines, including inactivated polio virus, measles, pentavalent, pneumococcal vaccines and Rotavirus vaccine which was introduced in 2016
  • The UK is repurposing its Department for International Development (DFID) aid programme to focus on coronavirus. This includes providing immediate health and humanitarian assistance to detect the virus, boost local health systems, and protect communities.
  • UK aid helps to tackle the global challenges of our time and is building a safer, healthier, more prosperous world.
  • UK aid is funding a £2.67 million package to the World Health Organization (WHO) to help to improve the preventive, testing and treatment services in 27 districts across all five provinces of Pakistan.
  • UK aid has given £1 million to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Pakistan to tackle swarms of locusts up until 30 September 2020.
  • The UK aid is also giving funding of £2.5m to the Pakistan Humanitarian Pooled Fund (PHPF) through OCHA which is linked to strategic objectives outlined in the Pakistan Preparedness and Response Plan and Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Pakistan.
  • In partnership with the UN Joint Programs team £888,337 is being provided to fund psychosocial support services for women and girls who face violence in the home, as well as raising awareness for precautionary measures against coronavirus and its symptoms.

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