At the most recent Global Citizen Festival, Rotary International President Jennifer Jones announced that Rotary have pledged an extra $150 million in the fight against polio.
During her speech at the festival in New York, she proclaimed: “I am proud to announce that Rotary International will commit an additional $150 million to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
“We want this to be the start of a massive funding effort to reach the initiative’s $4.8 billion goal.”
The Global Citizen Festival is an annual music festival organised by Global Poverty Project that combines activism with music.
Across two parallel events in Central Park, New York and Black Star Square in Accra, Ghana, Jennifer Jones was one many leaders, artists and activists raising awareness for issues such as empowering girls and women, taking climate action and breaking systemic barriers as well as polio eradication.
Skip to 8:19:34 to listen to the announcement from Rotary International President Jennifer Jones.
New York City recently declared a state of emergency after a resurgence in polio, not long after polio samples were found in the sewers in London. A child in Malawi recently also contracted polio as well as Mozambique experiencing their first polio outbreak in 30 years.
In recent years, polio in polio vaccination for children in developing countries was disrupted by COVID-19, with 2021 seeing 25 million children going without vital immunisations that protect against diseases like polio.
However, Rotary and it’s partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative are not going to be encouraged by these recent developments and instead look to double down on the incredible work they have done to beat the disease.
Rotary members have been at the centre of the worldwide effort to eradicate polio for more than three decades. Rotary launched PolioPlus in 1985 and helped found the GPEI in 1988, when there were an estimated 350,000 polio cases across more than 125 countries in one year.
Since then, cases have plummeted more than 99.9%, sparing more than 20 million people from paralysis. Rotary has helped immunise nearly 3 billion children against polio, contributed more than US$2.5 billion to global polio eradication efforts, and helped secure more than US$10 billion from donor governments.
In the final part of her speech, Jennifer Jones pleaded: “Global Citizens, help us call on governments, businesses, and other leaders to join us in pledging ambitiously at the World Health Summit in October to end polio for good.”