Bloomberg donates $25 million to eradicate polio

11 Nov 2016, 12:00 am
Financial Nigeria

Summary

Private donors, like Bloomberg, are at the forefront of closing the $1.3 billion funding gap for polio eradication.

Michael Bloomberg, Founder, Bloomberg Philanthropies

Billionaire businessman, Michael Bloomberg, has donated $25 million to support efforts aimed at eradicating polio around the world, according to a statement released on Thursday.

Bloomberg’s donation – which was made through his charity, Bloomberg Philanthropies – will support the polio eradication efforts of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), a partnership led by the World Health Organization, United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rotary International, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Eradicating polio will be one of the greatest public health achievements in history, and while we are getting closer, major threats still loom,” said Bloomberg, who is also a former Mayor of New York City. “The recent news of new polio cases in Nigeria has only strengthened our resolve to put an end to this terrible and preventable disease for all people, everywhere.”

Since GPEI was launched in 1988, polio cases have been reduced by over 99 per cent. New polio cases are now only seen in three countries: Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. In August this year, Nigeria detected new polio cases after the country had marked two years without any.

Private donors, like Bloomberg, are at the forefront of closing the $1.3 billion funding gap for polio eradication plans and secure a polio-free world. Other major private donors supporting polio eradication include Larry Ellison, Carlos Slim, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Carl Icahn, Dato Sri Dr. Tahir, Jim Ueltschi, and Richard Menschel.

Bloomberg’s donation is one of three new commitments to GPEI’s polio eradication efforts. An anonymous donor pledged $15 million, while Ray Dalio, Chairman of Bridgewater Associates, pledged $30 million in addition to the Dalio Foundation’s initial donation of $50 million back in 2013.

“I am pleased to continue my support of polio eradication. It is a smart investment, and will unlock potential for future advances in global health,” said Dalio. “I trusted the success of the polio programme, and the incredible progress of the last few years proves that eradication is possible.”

Bloomberg Philanthropies has previously donated $100 million to support the Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan – the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s polio eradication strategy, which has received about $5.7 billion from international donors.

“These philanthropists share the Gates Foundation’s vision for improving lives of the world’s most vulnerable populations, and ending polio is one of the best ways to do that,” said Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We have never had a better opportunity to stop polio, and the additional support of donors like Mike Bloomberg and Ray Dalio is essential to making that happen.”


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