Canada Partners with Rotary Foundation Canada to Eradicate Polio Worldwide and Reduce Poverty in Developing Countries
August 1, 2015 – Ottawa, Ontario – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, announced the renewal of the partnership between Government of Canada and Rotary Foundation Canada by providing a total of up to $18 million to help save the lives of vulnerable children and reduce poverty in the world’s poorest countries.
During the next four years, the Government of Canada will contribute two dollars for every dollar raised by Rotary Foundation Canada in support of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s Endgame Strategy, to a maximum contribution of $12 million. The funds will be provided to UNICEF to support the goal of eradicating polio worldwide by 2018.
The renewal of the partnership reinforces Canada’s ongoing leadership on polio. It builds on the Pennies & More for Polio initiative, through which Rotary Foundation Canada raised $2.2 million between 2012 and 2013, which was matched by the Government of Canada.
The Government of Canada will also contribute up to $6 million to support Rotary Foundation Canada’s efforts to help advance maternal, newborn and child health, secure the future of children and youth, and increase sustainable economic growth in under-served communities in developing countries.
Today, the world stands on the verge of being able to end the preventable deaths of women and children within a generation. Canada remains steadfast in its commitment to work with Canadian and international partners to achieve this goal.
- Canada’s support for these initiatives reflects Canada’s commitment to three of its top international development priorities: securing the future of children and youth, stimulating sustainable economic growth and improving maternal, newborn and child health—Canada’s top international development priority.
- Polio is one of the world’s most enduring infectious diseases and mainly affects children under the age of five. Addressing polio through immunization is one of the most cost-effective health interventions to end preventable child mortality.
- Since 1988, the global incidence of polio has decreased by over 99 percent, largely through the efforts of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), to which Canada was a founding donor.
- Since 1988, at least 2.5 billion children around the world have been immunized. Today, more than 10 million people who would otherwise have been paralyzed by the polio virus are walking thanks to global polio eradication efforts.
- In October 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was honoured to receive the Rotary Foundation Polio Eradication Champion Award for his longstanding support for, and continued leadership in, efforts to eliminate polio around the world.
- Canada is a global leader in immunization to improve the health and survival of women and children.
“We cannot stand idle while women and children in developing countries die of causes that are easily and inexpensively prevented. That is why Prime Minister Harper has taken a leadership role in addressing the health challenges faced by women, newborns and children in the world’s poorest countries. Polio immunization, given in several doses, can protect a child against polio for life. This can have significant implications for their ability to be productive and contributing members of their societies. This initiative will bring us one step closer to achieving our collective vision of a polio-free world.”
— The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie
“I am proud that our government is supporting the efforts of Rotary Foundation Canada to impact the world by focusing on improving the health, education and livelihoods of those who are most in need. Canada is committed to increasing maternal, newborn and children health, building sustainable economic growth and securing a better future for children and youth.”
— Brad Butt, Member of Parliament for Mississauga-Streetsville
“Our government is pleased to support the work of partners like Rotary Canada who are actively engaged in advancing women’s and children’s health. This effort to eradicate polio will save and improve many lives. I encourage donors to support generously the work that Rotary Canada is doing to fight polio.”
— The Honourable Ron Cannan, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country