The Group of Seven rich countries will on Friday sign an agreement to provide 1.5 billion dollars to develop vaccines for poor countries.
The Italian government which is among those heading the initiative, said The new Advanced Market Commitments for Vaccines programme, is aimed at saving millions of lives in the poorest countries and supporting their economic growth with new methods.
The first target disease will be pneumococcus which causes pneumonia and meningitis which is a major killer of children under five in poor countries. The aim of the project is to fight malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
The mechanism involves donor nations making a prior commitment to buy vaccines which are under development at a preferential price once they are launched, thereby creating a demand-led market for new vaccines needed by poor countries.
Italian government sources told Reuter's news agency that Rome would stump up 500 million dollars of the funding, while Britain was likely to give 400 million dollars and Canada and Norway 200 million dollars each.