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Gates Foundation agrees new polio funding deal

Expands its work with the Rotary Foundation and aims to raise up to $450m for the cause

Polio

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has agreed a new funding agreement with The Rotary Foundation to help eradicate polio that will see the partners raise up to $450m for the cause.

The groups have so far donated $1.6bn to support ending poliomyelitis - the viral, flu-like infection that can cause paralysis, and the new deal will see Rotary raise $50m per year over the next three years, with every one of its dollars matched with two additional dollars from the Gates Foundation.

John Germ, president of The Rotary Foundation, said: “In 2016 fewer children were paralysed by polio than ever before, thanks to the dedication of Rotary members and our partners.”

World governments and other donors have pledged to contribute $1.2bn, which will help close the $1.5bn funding gap, allowing immunisation of 450 million children every year.

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said: “The vision of eradicating polio began with Rotary, and its support of that effort has been unwavering for more than 35 years.

“Rotary’s commitment to raise $150m over the next three years to end polio forever is a testament to the compassion, generosity and kindness of more than a million Rotarians around the world.”

The efforts of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative - a public-private partnership that includes Rotary, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and UNICEF - has seen the infection plummet by more than 99.9%, with 350,000 cases a year at the start of the initiative plummeting to just 37 cases in 2016.

Article by
Gemma Jones

14th June 2017

From: Healthcare

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