Alwaleed Philanthropies, a charitable and philanthropic organization founded by Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, has announced a $50 million grant to UNICEF in support of an initiative to protect children from measles and rubella.
Measles remains one of the leading causes of death among children globally, with more than three hundred children dying from the disease every day. In addition, more than a hundred thousand babies each year are born with congenital rubella syndrome, a disease that, if it infects mothers during pregnancy, can leave their children blind, deaf, or with other serious health defects. The grant will support UNICEF's Measles & Rubella Initiative, which is working to protect millions of children from the two diseases through safe and effective vaccines, enabling the initiative to vaccinate more than fifty-one million children in fourteen countries.
"The number of children around the world still suffering from measles and rubella is astonishing — but what is more astonishing is how easy it is to prevent these diseases through safe and effective vaccines," said HRH Princess Lamia, secretary general and member of the board of trustees of Alwaleed Philanthropies. "Today, Alwaleed Philanthropies and UNICEF have joined forces to help eliminate measles and rubella. This is the kind of philanthropic partnership we need to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals — and to protect some of the most vulnerable children in the world."