Public support for Sport Relief enables $5 million donation to GAVI Alliance

GAVI Alliance said on Sunday that it will be able to increase immunizations in Africa and Asia because of an approximately $5 million donation from Sport Relief, which will be matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Sport Relief is a Biennial event by Comic Relief that is presented in association with BBC Sport.

"The support the GAVI Alliance receives from Sport Relief, thanks to donations from the U.K. public, makes a tremendous impact in the lives of children living in some of the most difficult circumstances," GAVI Alliance Deputy CEO Helen Evans said. "We are grateful for the continued support of Sport Relief and the generosity of the U.K. public towards our mission to ensure that children receive vital vaccines no matter where they live."

Videos of British celebrities David Tennant and Nick Grimshaw alongside children with vaccine-preventable diseases from Sierra Leone and Kenya were shown on March 21 at Sport Relief.

"Vaccines are one of the simplest and most cost effective ways of preventing child deaths and Comic Relief is delighted that, thanks to the generosity of the public, we are able to continue supporting immunization through the GAVI Alliance," Comic Relief CEO Kevin Cahill said.

Comic Relief has been a GAVI Matching Fund partner since 2012 and has contributed more than $17.4 million to support vaccination programs, which was also matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.