A global network of humanitarian agencies, Rotary is giving US$100 million in grants to a number of African countries to support efforts to end polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that once paralyzed hundreds of thousands of children each year.
The funding comes as Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) address the final—and most pressing—challenges to ending poliovirus transmission, and as Nigeria approaches three years without any reported cases of wild poliovirus, bringing the Africa region closer to polio-free status.
“As we work with our partners to apply innovative new strategies to reach more children, and embrace lessons learned thus far, Rotary is doubling down on our commitment to end polio for good.,” said Michael K. McGovern, chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee.
“I’m optimistic that the end of polio is within our grasp, but we must remain vigilant in rallying global political and financial support as we push towards a polio-free world.”
While there were only 33 cases of wild poliovirus reported in 2018, the last mile of eradication has proven to be the most difficult.
To support polio eradication efforts in endemic countries, Rotary is allocating half the funds to: Afghanistan ($16.3 million), Nigeria ($10.2 million), and Pakistan ($25.2million). Additional funding will support efforts to keep vulnerable countries polio-free:
- Chad ($102,395)
- Democratic Republic of the Congo ($9.5 million)
- Ethiopia ($2.6 million)
- Iraq ($6 million)
- Kenya ($6.3 million)
- Mali ($1.2 million)
- Somalia ($1.4 million)
- South Sudan ($1.2 million)
- Syria ($1.7 million)
- Yemen ($2.1 million)
The World Health organisation (WHO) will receive $1.3 million to conduct research, and will also receive support for surveillance activities.