Canada provides Can$ 100 million assistance to end Polio in Afghanistan

Canada has provided Can$ 30 million to WHO and UNICEF to support programme activities in Afghanistan, and Can$ 70 million of flexible funding that can be used to support vaccination campaigns, rapid outbreak response, polio virus surveillance and other critical eradication strategies and activities to reach every last child worldwide with a safe vaccine.

This contributions to WHO and UNICEF will help end polio in Afghanistan, and fund global eradication efforts. This latter funding is especially valuable to the programme, as it will help sustain the priority areas of work that make global polio eradication possible. To date, Canadian Rotarians have raised and contributed more than US$ 52 million to eradication efforts.

Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said, “Canada has been a supporter in the fight against polio from the very beginning and we are committed to seeing it through to the end,” she said. “Keeping the momentum is key, particularly in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria, where polio still exists. Canada remains committed to ensuring every child is immunized, particularly girls, who continue to face barriers.”

Director of the Polio Eradication Programme at UNICEF, Akhil Iyer said , “Whilst polio exists in the smallest geographic area in history, this includes some of the most dangerous and difficult-to-reach parts of the world. Canada’s long-standing political and financial commitment helps our dedicated health workers, mostly women, go the extra mile and vaccinate every child to build a polio-free world.”

Last month, Canada signed a generous pledge of Can$ 100 million to help eradicate polio in Afghanistan as well as in the two other endemic countries, Nigeria and Pakistan, and to continue to protect many polio-free countries.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners extend their profound gratitude to the Government and to the citizens of Canada for their tremendous support and engagement to end polio globally.

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