Press release

More than 5 million children vaccinated in Africa and South America thanks to the Alliance for Child Vaccination led by ”la Caixa”

Programa de Vacunación Infantil que ”la Caixa” desarrolla en asociación con Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance

• The largest private foundation in Spain and one of the most important worldwide, ”la Caixa” promotes this pioneering programme for child immunisation in areas of difficult accessibility in Africa and Latin America in a partnership with Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and in cooperation with ISGlobal.

• The Alliance for Child Vaccination adopts a pioneering formula to encourage corporate social responsibility in Spain: ”la Caixa” and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation multiply each euro donated by four, thereby quadrupling efforts to immunise children against vaccine-preventable diseases.

• Thanks to the contribution made by ”la Caixa” Foundation and to the engagement of both employees and customers of CaixaBank, a reference for corporate social responsibility in the banking sector, more than 31 million euros have been raised since 2008 in donations from companies, clients and employees, as well as micro-donations by individual citizens.

Vaccination saves lives, especially in countries where access to healthcare is still a challenge. More than five million children in particularly vulnerable areas of Africa and Latin America have been vaccinated since the launch, over ten years ago, of the Child Vaccination Programme, promoted by ”la Caixa”  in partnership with Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and in cooperation with the Institut de Salut Global de Barcelona (ISGlobal).

Jaume Giró, CEO of ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation, and Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, today signed, for the twelfth consecutive year, the renewal of the agreement to continue the partnership, focusing its efforts on immunisation against pneumonia in Mozambique.

The alliance has raised over 31 million euros from contributions made by ”la Caixa” Foundation itself and donations received from companies, customers and employees, as well as micro-donations by ordinary citizens.

A total of more than 5 million children have received the pentavalent and pneumococcal vaccines since 2008 thanks to a fundraising initiative that is a pioneer in Europe. Through the Matching Fund formula, all donations received are multiplied by four. Under this 1 = 4 formula, ”la Caixa” adds one euro and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation another two to each euro donated.

These contributions come from 276,905 donors from all over Spain, including the 1,461 companies and 7,187 CaixaBank customers that endorse the Alliance for Child Vaccination, led in Spain by ”la Caixa”. A further 760 ”la Caixa” employees and more than 267,497 charitable citizens also made donations in response to the campaign for micro-donations.

According to Jaume Giró, CEO of ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation, “Vaccination at an early age is vital to ensure that children grow up healthy and strong, able to develop fully and enjoy equal opportunities. What drives us in this alliance with Gavi is the firm belief that no child should die anywhere in the world from a preventable illness. These children are the generation that will lead the new world we will live in”.

“We are grateful to “la Caixa” for their strong, long-standing commitment to children’s health,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “This unique partnership and our work with the ‘la Caixa’ Foundation are key to advancing Gavi’s mission of saving children’s lives and protecting people’s health by providing access to life-saving vaccines in the world’s poorest countries”.

Millions of children receive immunizations in areas of difficult access to healthcare

A pioneering alliance for vaccination

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is a public-private partnership that brings together developing countries and donors, including governments, the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private sector partners, among them ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation, which leads the initiative in Spain. Since the alliance was launched in 2000, Gavi has vaccinated more than 700 million children, preventing an estimated 10 million premature deaths.

A unique characteristic of the partnership is the involvement of ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation’s customers – both companies and individuals – in what is a pioneering corporate social responsibility initiative in Europe. The Alliance for Child Vaccination is supported in its work by the teams at CaixaBank Corporate Banking and CaixaBank Private Banking, as well as the entity’s entire network of offices, the largest in the Spanish financial sector. All these resources are key to promoting the alliance and raising funds to improve the health of the most vulnerable people on the planet.

In pursuit of its mission, CaixaBank Empresas conducts intensive awareness-raising activities among its customers, offering them the chance to contribute to improving both access to and the quality of vaccines in developing countries as a corporate social responsibility initiative that enables them to give back some of what they receive from society. For its part, CaixaBank Banca Privada promotes support for Gavi within the framework of its Social Value Project, which responds to and incentivises its customers’ philanthropic concerns.

Its partnership with Gavi has enabled ”la Caixa” to reach a total of 10 countries in Africa and Latin America, including Bolivia, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Honduras, Mauritania, Nicaragua, Sudan and Tanzania. In recent years, moreover, ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation has focused particularly on Mozambique, providing the pneumococcal vaccine to combat pneumonia, the leading cause of child mortality in that country at present.

Over a decade saving lives

According to the World Health Organisation, 3 children die from vaccine-preventable causes every 60 seconds. That is why the Alliance for Child Vaccination was born, since immunisation is the most effective way of contributing to global health. Vaccination can ensure survival, the first right of childhood. Boys and girls need their health in order to attend school, and they can only contribute to the development of their communities if they receive the necessary education and training.

Vaccination is a key tool in promoting human development, and is also among the most cost-effective interventions aimed at saving lives: it is estimated that for every dollar spent on immunisation in Gavi-supported countries, US$ 18 is saved in healthcare costs, lost wages and lost productivity.. Child mortality has been halved since 1990. The introduction of new vaccines and increased coverage by existing ones has accelerated the reduction in mortality among children under five years to a rate of -3.6% per year today.

This also means that the partnership between ”la Caixa” and Gavi contributes to achieving of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations in the 2030 Agenda. The initiative promotes two of these goals in particular: SDG 3, Good Health and Well-being for People; and SDG 17, Partnerships for the Goals.