A Renewed Commitment
Every time you contribute to the Charitable Trust, it makes a difference. Donations to the matched Polio Challenge fund have made a dramatic impact on the world's fight to end polio.
One week ago, on September 27th, Rotary International made a new funding commitment of $75 million dollars over three years to go to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). This pledge was made at a side event entitled: "Our Commitment to the Next Generation: The Legacy of a Polio-free World" that occured at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged UN members to increase their support for the GPEI, launched in 1988 by Rotary, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The partnership now includes the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Nations Foundation.
“This decisive moment is a matter of health and justice. Every child should have the right to start life with equal protection from this disease. That’s why I have made eradicating polio a top priority for my second term as Secretary-General,” said Ban.
Watch a recording of the event at the UN here.
Rotary weighs In
“We are at a true tipping point, with success never closer than it is right now. We must seize the advantage by acting immediately, or risk breaking our pledge to the world’s children,” said Wilfrid Wilkinson, chair of The Rotary Foundation.
Rotary and its GPEI partners have reached more than 2.5 billion children with the oral polio vaccine, preventing more than 8 million cases of paralysis and hundreds of thousands of pediatric deaths. Rotary’s chief responsibilities in the initiative are fundraising and advocacy, an increasingly important role as the polio end game draws near.
Earlier this month, Rotary launched a new website to garner greater support for the global polio eradication effort. More than 6,000 visitors signed a petition on the site calling for world leaders to commit additional resources to close the funding gap. Wilkinson presented the signatures on Rotary’s behalf during the UN polio eradication side event. Visitors to the site can also estimate the potential dollar value they can generate by sharing the polio eradication message through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.
“The unwavering commitment of Rotary members has been vital to the incredible progress of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative,” said Wilkinson. “How critically important it is for the global community to seize this historic opportunity before us to end polio now."