Adorably Honest: Babies React to Vaccine Donations Around the World

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, raised $7.5 billion Tuesday—and we'll let these little ones tell you what they thought of everyone's donation.

(Photo: Cecile Lavabre/Getty Images)

Jan 27, 2015· 4 MIN READ
One.org is an international campaigning and advocacy organization of nearly 6 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.

Donors gathered at a Berlin conference on Tuesday to pledge $7.5 billion to immunize up to 300 million children around the world by 2020. For its part, the U.S. threw in another $1 billion, to be paid over the next four years to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. "This is global leadership at its best. There is no better investment than in the future of our children, and we have no greater responsibility than protecting them," the White House said on its website.

Who pledged how much? Behind the grand total are some real heroes and a few big disappointments worth calling out.

Nobody is more honest about his or her feelings than a baby, so we turned to some of them to help deliver our verdicts.

Germany

Amount pledged: €600 million
Verdict: Not only did Germany increase its Gavi contribution in a major way, but Chancellor Angela Merkel and her team dedicated their time and political capital to pushing their peers to do more—an effort that definitely paid off.

United Kingdom

Amount pledged: £1 billion
Verdict: When the U.K. announced the £1 billion pledge last November, advocates were thrilled to see it maintain its role as a top Gavi donor.

United States

Amount pledged: $1 billion (over four years, 2015–2018)
Verdict: Babies are no doubt cheering the U.S. as it matches its rhetoric on ending preventable child deaths with this bold new down payment on Gavi. The pledge should also set the world's wealthiest and most powerful nation on a course to provide additional resources in the last two years of Gavi’s replenishment, 2019 and 2020.

France

Amount pledged: €250 million
Verdict: Supporters saw this as an important first step for France for 2015, but babies may be hoping the country can increase its overall aid budget this year to support global health even more in the future.

Norway

Amount pledged: 6.25 billion NOK
Verdict: Norway was already one of Gavi's top donors, and the world's littlest were no doubt pleased to see it sustain its leadership role with fresh funding and support.

Canada

Amount pledged: CAD $520 million
Verdict: Canada not only stepped up its initial pledge to Gavi last November as part of its support for maternal and child health care but also chipped in an extra $20 million Tuesday to help Gavi reach its full target.

Australia

Amount pledged: AUD $250 million
Verdict: This pledge sustains Australia’s current level of commitment to Gavi; it didn’t step up as others did Tuesday. Advocates are concerned that government cuts will slash Australian aid to its lowest level ever by 2018. Babies in need of vaccinations hope they will reverse these cuts, leaving room for future investments in Gavi and other innovative development programs.

Japan

Amount pledged: $0
Verdict: Japan was already the smallest contributor to Gavi of all the G7 countries. To see it pledge a big goose egg was incredibly disappointing, particularly since Japan is hosting the G7 after Germany does in 2016.

Italy:

Amount pledged: €100 million
Verdict: One.org was thrilled to see Italy, one of Gavi’s original donors, recommit to the effort and step up with increased resources on top of its existing innovative financial commitments.

Netherlands

Amount pledged: €250 million
Verdict: Babies cheered again at the news that Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen announced a 25 percent increase of the Netherlands’ contribution, along with praise for Gavi’s partnership model.

Sweden

Amount pledged: 1.5 billion SEK
Verdict: Infants had high hopes for a big pledge from Sweden, but it really left them hanging, bringing a pledge that was less than that of its previous five-year commitment.

European Commission

Amount pledged: €200 million
Verdict: The European Commission played a key role by announcing a €175M pledge to Gavi last May. But it surprised babies Tuesday by making an even greater pledge—and everyone knows babies love surprises.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Amount pledged: $1.55 billion
Verdict: The Gates Foundation (which funds TakePart World) has been a Gavi supporter from the beginning, providing not just direct funds but also the personal commitment of Bill, Melinda, and their team.

This post previously appeared on One.org.