Cameron and Gates Pledge Extra Funds to Eradicate Polio
- The United Kingdom pledges to double its current funding of polio eradication to US$ 60 million
- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation commits a further US$ 100 million to the cause
- Cameron and Gates promise to seize “once in a lifetime opportunity to rid world of polio”
- Funding aims to vaccinate an extra 45 million children
- More information on the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011: http://www.weforum.org
Davos, Switzerland, 28 January 2011 - In a special message, the Government of the United Kingdom and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged additional funding to rid the scourge of polio from the world, once and for all.
David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, committed to double his country's current contribution to polio eradication. “This funding will see an extra 45 million children fully vaccinated against the disease,” he said.
He urged world leaders to finish the job, adding that the new funding is conditional on matching commitments and making vaccines routine in affected countries.
Despite tough economic times, he said that rich countries cannot turn their backs on the world’s poor. “It is never the wrong time to do the right thing.”
Bill Gates announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has added US$ 100 million to the campaign to wipe out polio. “There is an incredible opportunity to wipe out the last 1% of polio, saving lives now and preventing the threat of outbreaks in the future.”
An intensive campaign is required. “Eradicating polio requires innovative thinking and political will, as well as additional funding to support an aggressive programme that will get the job done," said Mr Gates.
Success in global polio eradication will energize the broader global health fight. Prior successes such as the eradication of smallpox in 1979 and the massive drop in child mortality provide inspiration. “We see 6,000 infant lives a day saved since the Annual Meeting in Davos in 2004,” said Bono, Lead Singer of U2 and Co-Founder, ONE campaign and (RED), ONE, United Kingdom
“We cannot accept the status quo,” said Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization. These new investments come at a critical time in the fight against polio. The window of opportunity is now. If there is polio anywhere, we are at risk of polio everywhere."
Notes to Editors
For more information about the Annual Meeting 2011: http://wef.ch/Davos2011
Watch interviews with top leaders about the Davos agenda at http://wef.ch/DavosInterviews
View the best pictures from the Annual Meeting on Flickr at http://wef.ch/pix
Watch live webcasts of the sessions on Livestream at http://wef.ch/live
Ask a world leader on YouTube at http://wef.ch/davosdebates
Become a fan of the Forum on Facebook at http://wef.ch/facebook
Check in with the Forum on Foursquare at http://wef.ch/foursquare
Read the Forum Blog at http://wef.ch/blog
Read Forum reports on Scribd at http://wef.ch/scribd
Follow the Meeting on iPhone at http://wef.ch/iPhone
Upcoming Forum events at http://wef.ch/events
Subscribe to Forum News Releases at http://wef.ch/news
For more information about the Annual Meeting, please visit http://www.weforum.org
The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is tied to no political, partisan or national interests (www.weforum.org).
The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is independent, impartial and not tied to any interests. It cooperates closely with all leading international organizations (www.weforum.org).