Bill Gates to Give $1.8bn for Polio Eradication
(Abu Dhabi) – Bill Gates has announced that his foundation will contribute $1.8 billion to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a third of the total funds needed. “I am pleased to announce for the foundation that we are committed to fund a third of what is needed for this campaign,” the Microsoft co-founder told the Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi. “So for the fully funded campaign, that would be $1.8 billion that we are committed to. There has been a total of four billion dollars raised here. That gives us 73 percent of” the $5.5 billion needed”, he said.
Other participants at the summit also announced their contributions — $457 million from Britain, $250 million from Canada, and $240 million from Norway. Germany, which had already pledged 100 million euros, announced it will donate a similar amount again. Meanwhile, the Islamic Development Bank offered $227 million.
The number of worldwide polio infections has plunged to 223 in 2012, compared to 360,000 in 1988 when the United Nations launched a campaign to eliminate the highly contagious and crippling illness.