Thursday, 22 January 2009

US$255 Million Grant for Ending Polio - Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded US$255 Mil to Rotary International in the global effort to eradicate polio, bringing the total committed by Rotary and the Gates Foundation to $555 Mil.

Shortly after meeting with incoming district governors from the four countries where the wild poliovirus is endemic - Afghanistan, India, Nigeria & Pakistan - Bill Gates announced the new grant on 21st Jan., at the International Assembly in San Diego, California, USA.

“Rotarians, government leaders and health professionals have made a phenomenal commitment to get us to a point at which polio afflicts only a small number of the world’s children,” Gates said. “However, complete elimination of the poliovirus is difficult and will continue to be difficult for a number of years. Rotary in particular has inspired my own personal commitment to get deeply involved in achieving eradication.”

The two Gates Foundation challenge grants now total $355 Mil. Rotary International’s matching effort in response is called Rotary’s US$200 Mil Challenge, which must be completed by 30 June 2012. Read more.

Learn more:
See the video of Gates making the announcement
Watch a video about what it takes to eradicate polio
Read the joint letter about polio from the RI president and Rotary Foundation chair
Help end polio now with your contribution

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