$2.6 Billion Dollars Affirmed for Polio Eradication
Global health leaders met at the Reaching the Last Mile (RLM) Forum in The United Arab Emirates to affirm their commitment to eradicate polio and pledge $2.6 billion dollars of support.
This pledge is part of the 1st phase of the funding needed to implement the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s Polio Endgame Strategy 2019-2023.
This event on November 19, 2019, follows the World Health Organization (WHO) October 24th announcement that ‘the world has successfully eradicated 2 of 3 wild poliovirus strains.’
These financial commitments come at a critical time for the polio eradication effort, as recent studies indicate that the wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) remains in circulation in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In Pakistan, a recent study reported about 45 percent of environmental sites tested were found positive for WPV1 during 2019.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, said in today’s statement, “I would like to thank His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi for hosting the GPEI pledging moment and for his long-term support for polio eradication.”
To surmount these obstacles and protect 450 million children from polio every year, governments and donors announced significant new financial commitments to support the Polio Endgame Strategy.
Pledges are from a diverse array of donors, including US$160 million from the host of the pledging moment His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi; countries, including US$215.92 million from the United States, US$160 million from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, US$105.05 million from Germany, US$84.17 million from the Federal Government of Nigeria, US$10.83 million from Norway, US$10.29 million from Australia, US$7.4 million from Japan, US$2.22 million from Luxembourg, US$1.34 million from New Zealand, US$116,000 from Spain, and US$10,000 from Liechtenstein; GPEI partners, including US$1.08 billion from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and US$150 million from Rotary International; philanthropic organizations, including US$50 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies, US$25 million from Dalio Philanthropies, US$15 million from the Tahir Foundation, US$6.4 million from the United Nations Foundation, US$2 million from Alwaleed Philanthropies, US$1 million from the Charina Endowment Fund, and US$1 million from Ningxia Yanbao Charity Foundation; and the private sector, including US$1 million from Ahmed Al Abdulla Group, US$1 million from Al Ansari Exchange, and US$340,000 from Kasta Technologies.
Earlier in November, the United Kingdom announced it would contribute up to US$514.8 million to the GPEI.
“We are proud to host the GPEI pledging moment in Abu Dhabi and thank all the attendees for their continued commitment to the eradication of polio,” said Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Cabinet Member and Minister of State for International Cooperation.
“Since launching in 2014, the Emirates Polio Campaign has delivered more than 430 million polio vaccines in some of the most remote areas of Pakistan. We remain firm in our mission to reach every last child and believe together we can consign polio to the pages of history.”
The future of polio eradication hinges on support and engagement at all levels of the program. If the strategies needed to reach and vaccinate children are fully implemented and funded, we are confident that we can deliver a world where no child lives in fear of polio, concluded this WHO announcement.
Polio news published by Precision Vaccinations