Polio partners commend G8 for continued support to polio eradication
11 June 2004 | Geneva/New York - The spearheading partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative - the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and UNICEF - welcome the determination, support and actions of the G8 leaders in their committed efforts to eradicate polio. The partners appreciate the continuing efforts and commitments of the G8, most recently under US Presidency, towards closing the funding gap for planned 2004-2005 polio eradication activities.
The polio partners applaud the political engagement of G8 leaders and officials to keep up momentum on all actions needed to achieve a polio-free world. In particular, the Polio Eradication Initiative looks forward to continuing to work closely with the G8 and other donors to urgently identify additional sources of funding to scale up immunization activities in west and central Africa in mid-late 2004, which are urgently needed to stop the alarming spread of poliovirus to polio-free countries in the region.
The goal of the Polio Eradication Initiative, the world's largest public-private sector partnership, is to interrupt wild poliovirus transmission globally by end-2004. The number of polio-endemic countries has been reduced from 125 when the Initiative was launched in 1988, to six, and the annual number of cases of polio has dropped from 350 000 in 1988 to 784 last year.
The G8's increased support for polio eradication, reaffirmed this week at Sea Island, builds on G8 polio pledges made at the G8 Summits in Kananaskis, Canada, in 2002 and in Evian, France last year.
The polio eradication coalition includes governments of countries affected by polio; private sector foundations (e.g. United Nations Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation); development banks; donor governments; the European Commission; humanitarian and nongovernmental organizations and corporate partners.