Gates, Others Pledge $1.2 Billion to Eradicate Polio

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative has announced public and private pledges totaling $1.2 billion in support of efforts to eradicate polio, including $450 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The commitment from the foundation includes $300 million for a two-to-one match of Rotary International's pledge to raise $50 million annually for each of the next three years. The funds will be used to support immunization and surveillance activities aimed at eradicating polio in Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan — the three countries where it remains endemic — and ensuring that other countries remain polio-free. Other commitments announced at GPEI's Rotary convention on Monday include $30 million from the Dalio Foundation, $25 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies, $75 million from Canada, $61.4 million from the European Commission, $55 million from Japan, $30 million from the United Arab Emirates, and $5 million from easyJet.

The Gates Foundation and Rotary — along with other GPEI members — have partnered for a decade to end polio worldwide, a campaign that includes a 2013 commitment by the foundation to match Rotary's contributions on a two-to-one basis, up to $35 million, through 2018.

"In 2016, fewer children were paralyzed by polio than ever before, thanks to the dedication of Rotary members and our partners," said Rotary International president John Germ. "The paralysis of even one child by a preventable disease is unacceptable, and I'm proud to see our members redoubling their commitment to ensure we reach every single child with the polio vaccine."

For a complete list of commitments, see the GPEI website.

"Public Health Leaders Unite to Bring Polio One Step Closer to Eradication." Global Polio Eradication Initiative Press Release 06/12/2017. "Rotary and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Announce $450 Million Commitment to End Polio." Rotary International Press Release 06/12/2017.