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Bill Gates in Atlanta: Foundation, Rotary commit $450 million to end polio

13 Juin 2017

"In 2016, fewer children were paralyzed by polio than ever before, thanks to the dedication of Rotary members and our partners", said Germ.

The initiative, at the Rotary Convention in Atlanta, regretted that 30 years ago polio paralysed had more than 350,000 children each year in more than 125 countries around the world.

The decision was reached during Monday's Rotary Convention in Atlanta, United States.

To an audience of almost 40,000 Rotary members attending the humanitarian organization's annual convention, Rotary and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation renewed their longstanding support for ending polio - a paralyzing, life-altering scourge on the verge of becoming the second human disease ever to be eliminated. There have been only five cases in 2017.

World health leaders, who gathered at the Rotary Convention in Atlanta to reaffirm their commitment to eradicating polio, pledged $1.2 billion to finance efforts to end the disease.

The latest funding will help address a $1.5 billion funding gap that will help ensure that the virus is eliminated from these remaining countries and prevented from regaining a foothold anywhere else in the world.

Germ further said, "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".

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He said, "We are, together, truly on the verge of eradicating polio from the planet-but only if we work relentlessly to reach the children we have not yet reached".

"The unrelenting commitment and support of these global leaders will help us do just that - and ultimately end this disease for everyone and forever".

Today's announcement comes on the heels of the news that world governments and other donors have pledged to contribute US$1.2 billion total to the GPEI for polio eradication efforts.

Also, UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake said the funding commitments will enable the programme to keep improve performance and overcome challenges to reach every child, including vaccinating children in conflict areas.

"We can not fail to make this last effort".

The pair rallied against polio alongside 40,000 rotary members from about 170 nations, and announced that Rotary International and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged to raise $450 million to support the end of polio.

HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nayhan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces made a personal donation to Gates' charity of USD30 million.

Bill Gates in Atlanta: Foundation, Rotary commit $450 million to end polio