Gates Foundation commits $1.2 billion to end polio worldwide

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will use the money to implement their Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s strategy through 2026.

Afghanistan and Pakistan are the last two endemic nations in the world with the polio virus, where the foundation will focus its efforts. The money will also be used to prevent the outbreak of new variants. The announcement was made at the World Health Summit in Berlin, Germany.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is a public-private partnership that includes the Gates Foundation, Rotary International, the World Health Organisation, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The last steps to eradication are by far the toughest. But our foundation remains dedicated to a polio-free future, and we’re optimistic that we will see it soon,” said foundation CEO Mark Suzman.

Pakistan has reported 20 polio cases so far this year, and Afghanistan, two.

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