PRESS RELEASE

Press Statement re: outcomes of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

“The uptick in reported cases of wild polio in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Mozambique this year and reported cases in the US and the UK have served as a stark reminder that as long as polio remains a threat anywhere, it remains a threat everywhere. So Global Citizen applauds the $2.6 billion worth of pledges from public and private donors towards the Global Polio Eradication Initiative's $4.8 billion goal announced today.

This includes $1.2 billion from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and $150 million from Rotary International that were announced at the Global Citizen Festival in New York City on September 24.

We also welcome new investments from the governments of Australia and Germany after Global Citizens around the world called on these national governments to contribute to polio eradication this year.

This funding will help vaccinate 370 million children annually over the next five years, and continue disease surveillance across 50 countries. The secondary impact will be strengthened health systems where vital support is needed most.

Unfortunately, however, this is yet another example of a global health pledging summit that has fallen short of its goals. Global Citizen continues to urge governments to find the political will to bridge the GPEI's outstanding funding gap and commit the additional investment needed in a world facing converging health, hunger, inflation and climate crises.

Polio is more than 99 percent eradicated thanks to the expertise of the GPEI, the power of vaccines, and the relentless dedication of health workers and volunteers around the world. If the world can collectively close the remaining financing gap to achieve the GPEI’s goal of $4.8 billion for 2022-26, we remain confident that the world can achieve complete eradication of wild polio within five years.

Global Citizen’s campaign to secure full support of the GPEI’s eradication strategy, and a polio-free world, will continue with the help of thousands of global citizens around the world.”

– Attributed to Michael Sheldrick, Co-Founder and Chief Policy, Impact and Government Relations Officer, Global Citizen