Bloomberg Philanthropies to donate $100 Million to polio eradication

Fresh financing expresses confidence in new strategic plan to finish the job

Children being immunized in a school yard. WHO/R.Curtis
Children being immunized in a school yard.
WHO/R.Curtis

New York, (February 28, 2013) – In a major new commitment, business publishing magnate and New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced a $100 million donation to support polio eradication efforts through Bloomberg Philanthropies. The donation will help fund the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s six-year plan to eradicate polio.

“It’s unthinkable that polio still exists in the world when we have the tools and technology to protect children from this preventable, debilitating disease. Now is the time to invest in making polio history. Doing so will protect future generations of children and pave the way for other life-saving interventions to reach the world’s most vulnerable populations,” said Bloomberg.

Bloomberg joins key private donors to polio eradication, including the founder of CNN and the UN Foundation Ted Turner, Nigerian industrialist Aliko Dangote and Indian philanthropist Rajshree Birla.

The number of polio cases plunged to the lowest level ever in 2012 – less than 225 cases – and the number of countries where polio transmission has never been stopped was reduced to three – Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. India, long-regarded as the nation facing the greatest challenges to ending polio, was declared polio-free in February 2012. In response, the World Health Assembly declared ending polio a “programmatic emergency” for global public health and the Presidents of Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan are overseeing the implementation of emergency action plans in their countries. These plans have led to significant advancements in the efforts to reach hard-to-access children with the polio vaccine.

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