Britain to donate $1.32 bn to vaccinate poor kids
London: Britain would donate 814 million pounds ($1.32 billion) to help vaccinate poor children all over the world against diseases, Prime Minister David Cameron has said.Over 80 million children across the globe would benefit from the donation over the next five years, the Daily Express reported.
Cameron was speaking at the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation conference, attended by world leaders, charities as well as philanthropists including Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
The conference aimed to generate funds to help the developing world`s children receive protection against potentially fatal diseases.
Cameron said Britain would play its full role in helping the children.
"We will provide 814 million pounds of new funding up to 2015. This will help vaccinate over 80 million children and save 1.4 million lives. That is one child vaccinated every two seconds for five years."
Gates said his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was pledging an additional $1 billion over the next five years to help the vaccination campaign.
Cameron, however, said the donation - though part of Britain`s goal of devoting a portion of the national income to aid - would be "controversial" at a time of cuts in spending.
"At a time when we are making spending cuts at home, what we are doing today and the way we are protecting our aid budget is controversial.
"Some people say we simply can`t afford spending money on overseas aid right now, that we should get our own house in order before worrying about other people`s problems.
"Others see the point of helping other countries to develop, but they don`t think aid works anyway, because corrupt dictators prevent it from reaching the people who really need it.
"For me, it is a question of values. This is about saving lives. It was the right thing to promise. It was the right thing for Britain to do. And it is the right thing for this government to honour that commitment," he said.