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$9 Million Committed to Bolster Worldwide Measles Initiative
Date:9/25/2008

The Vodafone Foundation-United Nations Foundation Partnership, Merck & Co., Inc., the Kessler Family Foundation and the American Red Cross announce support for partnership at Clinton Global Initiative

Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) September 25, 2008 -- www.measlesinitiative.org [The Measles Initiative] announced today $9 million worth of donations from the http://www.unfoundation.org/global-issues/technology/ [Vodafone Foundation-United Nations Foundation] Technology Partnership, Merck & Co, Inc., the Kessler Family Foundation and the American Red Cross. This support will help to enable the Measles Initiative to vaccinate an estimated 76 million children in about 25 countries during 2009.

"Measles deaths have declined 68% globally since the Measles Initiative partnership began in 2001," says Michele Kessler, American Red Cross Global Measles Ambassador and founder of the Kessler Family Foundation. "But a funding gap for 2009 means we are in danger of losing our momentum. These commitments will help reduce that gap and allow us to continue saving lives."

The Measles Initiative - an innovative global health partnership led by the American Red Cross, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, the United Nations Foundation and World Health Organization - is working to reduce measles mortality in 2010 by 90% (compared to 2000) and support U.N. Millennium Development Goal #4 of reducing under-five mortality rates by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015.

"Already the Measles Initiative has saved nearly 3 million children; but this work is not done and we are committed to helping it succeed," said Claire Thwaites, head of the Vodafone Foundation-United Nations Foundation Technology Partnership, which is committing $6 million over 3 years to support the initiative.

"The UN Foundation is so proud to be part of this rema
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