Queen Rania Returns to the UK

June 06, 2008

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department - London) As a member of the Board of Directors of GAVI, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah spent Thursday evening highlighting the organization’s accomplishments, which include preventing over 3 million deaths since its inception.

Queen Rania also urged the fundraiser attendees to realize the personal and collective responsibility in investing in child health around the world.

GAVI is a unique organization that aligns public and private resources in a global effort to create greater access to the benefits of immunization. The organization has launched several large scale campaigns to increase access to immunization in the developing world including International Finance Facility for Immunization (IFFIm) and the Advance Marketing Commitment.

“While British, American, and Jordanian children may dream about what they want to be when they grow up, for millions of children around the world, just to make it to the age of five is an achievement,” said the Queen as she reminded the audience of the simple measures that are sometimes needed for such children. “For millions of children around the world, life hangs on the slenderest thread – a knit cap to keep warm, clean water to drink, the means to ward off a mosquito,” she said.

Queen Rania noted her personal connection to the organization. “For me, that heartfelt, human connection is what gives this endeavor such value. GAVI’s work may seem complex, but the idea that underwrites it is very simple. All children deserve the best start in life so they’ll have a life to look forward to,” she said.

As a mother of four healthy and vaccinated children, she said, “I feel strongly that every child of every mother deserves the same protection and care as my children, and your children… And GAVI is bringing that noble vision closer to reality each day – saving lives, promoting research, and strengthening health systems worldwide.”

The Queen also spoke about the various field visits she has done with organizations like GAVI and UNICEF (Queen Rania is UNICEF’s Eminent Advocate for Children), where she had the chance to preview many of the health accomplishments first hand.

She described her visits in India and China where babies are being provided with the necessary vaccines to prevent disease. Last year, she noted, IFFIm delivered more than $190 million to the advance the eradication of polio.

“They are relying on us –the mothers and fathers of all the world’s children – to ensure that no child, no matter where he or she is born, should have to die of a preventable disease,” she said.