Today, the European Commission, the European Investment Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a new financing partnership to address critical global health opportunities: eradicating polio and ensuring that innovations in health are more accessible to the people who need them most. The World Health Organization and UNICEF, as implementing partners for the polio funding, will deploy the resources to eradicate polio, support the distribution of other childhood immunizations and strengthen health systems so they are better able to respond to emerging health threats.
The expected €1.1 billion financing package aims to provide new funding to eradicate a human disease for only the second time in history and help solve the health and development challenges faced by the world’s most vulnerable people, who otherwise do not get fair access to healthcare services and innovations.
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said: “We are about to wipe polio off the face of the Earth. The European Commission, the EIB and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are partnering to get through the final stretch. With 1 billion euros supported by our European investment strategy Global Gateway, we will invest in stronger health systems globally and local vaccine and medicines production, manufacturing and administration, where it is most needed. Global cooperation has helped us put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now it will help us get rid of polio once and for all.”