Vaccine alliance seeks $3.7 bln from London meeting
* New immunisation campaign targets 243 million children
* Triple-A "vaccine bonds" help avert funding lags
By Simon Akam
FREETOWN May 30 (Reuters) - International health alliance GAVI is seeking $3.7 billion from a June 13 pledging conference in London to help deliver vaccines to nearly a quarter of a billion children across the world by 2015.
Launched in 2000 and including partners such as the World Bank and pharmaceutical firms, the grouping targets common but deadly diseases such as pneumonia or diarrhoea and says it has already saved 5 million lives.
The alliance uses so-called "vaccine bonds" underpinned by firm market expectations that donors will ultimately honour their pledges to bridge the time lags in the funding process that are common to the aid sector.
"Kids that happen to be born in poor countries shouldn't have to wait 10-15 years to have access to vaccines," David Ferreira, head of innovative finance for the Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunisation told Reuters during a trip to Sierra Leone ahead of the London conference.
"If you have a cheque that's coming in from the donor in January, really you need the money in July of the previous year." Continued...