The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) welcome the funding of the King Salman Humanitarian and Relief Center (KSrelief) for the prevention of outbreaks of measles and poliomyelitis
The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF today welcomed funding agreements for the King Salman Humanitarian Relief and Relief Center (KSrelief) worth US$10 million to strengthen polio and measles programs in eight countries. The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the World Health Summit in Berlin.
The new funding will provide UNICEF and WHO with $5 million each in response to a WHO and UNICEF call for urgent action to avert major polio and measles outbreaks. WHO and UNICEF have urged countries to prioritize childhood immunizations as they rebuild their immunization systems following major global immunization disruptions caused by COVID-19. The pandemic has left millions of vulnerable children at increased risk of preventable childhood illnesses.
With this generous contribution from KSrelief, WHO will support polio and measles control programs in Somalia, Iraq and Sudan by purchasing laboratory equipment; strengthen surveillance; digitization of the EPI; strengthen the cold chain; and training of field vaccinators. UNICEF will support the five high-risk countries of Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea and Pakistan in the procurement and in-country distribution of polio and measles vaccines and supplies such as cold chain equipment and syringes; recruitment and training of vaccinators; and sustainable strengthening of immunization systems.
“COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on immunization services around the world,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of WHO. “KSrelief’s generous support will help WHO save children’s lives, benefiting an estimated 50 million people and averting major outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases including polio and measles in Somalia, Iraq and the United States. Sudan.
“We cannot let COVID-19 cause new outbreaks of childhood diseases,” said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell. “The pandemic has disrupted routine immunization services around the world, leaving millions of vulnerable children at increased risk of polio, measles and other preventable childhood illnesses. This new agreement will result in lives saved and stronger immunization systems that will benefit millions of children.
Dr Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Supervisor General of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) said: “This cooperation agreement will strengthen global action to protect vulnerable children at heightened risk of preventable childhood diseases; it also affirms the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to saving lives and safeguarding the future. This agreement is the result of the Kingdom’s commitment to work with WHO and UNICEF to jointly address global health challenges.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the World Health Organization (WHO).
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