World Leaders Pledge 2.6 Billion US Dollars to eradicate polio
Nigeria to contribute US$84.17 million
Nations and their partners announce their commitments to ensure 450 million children are vaccinated against polio every year.
This happened at the Reaching The Last Mile Forum in Abu Dhabi, UAE on Tuesday.
World leaders convened in Abu Dhabi at the forum to state their commitment in eradicating the disease and made a joint pledge of $2.6 Billion for the first stage of funding needed for the Polio Endgame Strategy 2019-2023 of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
This comes closely after it was announced last month that two of the three wild polio virus strains has been eradicated, which leaves only wild poliovirus type 1 in circulation.
In addition, Nigeria which happened to be the last country in Africa to report wild cases of polio – have not reported any since 2016. This could make it possible for the whole WHO African region to be certified polio-free in 2020.
Only two countries have cases of polio circulation currently – Pakistan and Afghanistan. This is a proof of the great efforts of the governments, health workers, partners and donors.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization and Chair of the Polio Oversight Board said in the event: “From supporting one of the world’s largest health workforces, to reaching every last child with vaccines, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative is not only moving us closer to a polio-free world, it’s also building essential health infrastructure to address a range of other health needs.”
“We are grateful for the generous pledges made today and thank governments, donors and partners for standing with us. In particular, 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.” He concluded.
The pledges made at the event comes at a crucial time to support the polio eradication effort. The governments and donors have made their commitments to overcome the various barriers to reaching every child and to protect 450 million children from polio every year.
The pledges comes from different donors which includes: 160 million US dollars from His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the host of the pledging moment; countries, including United States – US$215.92 million, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan – US$160 million, Germany – US$105.05 million, Federal Government of Nigeria – US$84.17 million, US$10.83 million from Norway, US$7.4 million from Japan, US$2.22 million from Luxembourg, US$10.29 million from Australia, US$1.34 million from New Zealand, US$10,000 from Liechtenstein and US$116,000 from Spain.
Several GPEI partners were not left out in the pledges and they include: US$150 million from Rotary International and US$1.08 billion from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; philanthropic organizations including US$25 million from Dalio Philanthropies, US$6.4 million from the United Nations Foundation, US$50 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies, US$2 million from Alwaleed
Philanthropies, US$1 million from the Charina Endowment Fund, US$1 million from Ningxia Yanbao Charity Foundation and US$15 million from the Tahir Foundation, and the private sector, including US$1 million from Ahmed Al Abdulla Group, US$340,000 from Kasta Technologies and US$1 million from Al Ansari Exchange.
The United Kingdom announced earlier in the month that it would donate up to US$514.8 million to the initiative.
“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 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.”
References : WHO