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Canada Pledges $440 Million To Vaccinate Poor Children

Update Date: Nov 30, 2014 05:24 PM EST

The Canadian government would provide support worth hundreds of millions of dollars towards life-saving vaccines for children around the world, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Friday. 

Harper made the announcement at an event with Senegalese Prime Minister Mohammed Dionne at a clinic in Dakar to mark the introduction in Senegal of a vaccine for rotavirus-a virus that causes diarrhoea in children so severe it can be fatal, according to a press release.

He did not mention the exact figure, but an aide said it amounted to 500 million Canadian dollars. 

On his official website, Harper said he was proud of Canada's "leadership to promote maternal, newborn and child health in developing countries so that women and children around the world can also live healthy and productive lives".

The cash is Canada's response to an appeal by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), an international partnership of private and public sector health organisations that aims to increase access to basic vaccines not previously available in developing countries, the press release said. 

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