On 9 September 2019, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) partners and the United Arab Emirates co-hosted an informal reception as a pre-event ahead of the Polio Pledging Moment in the United Arab Emirates’-hosted Reaching the Last Mile Forum in Abu Dhabi, in November 2019. The GPEI also presented the 2019-2023 GPEI Investment Case.
The reception brought together GPEI stakeholders including, Rotary International, His Excellency Obaid Saleem Saeed Al Zaabi, UAE Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), representatives from the UAE; WHO Director-General and Chair of the GPEI Polio Oversight Board, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus; partners, and representatives from donor countries.
Following the GPEI Endgame Strategy 2019-2023, which spells-out a comprehensive five-year plan to ‘finish the job,’ the 2019-2023 Investment Case presents an economic case for investing in polio eradication as an important public health cause. Committing to eradication and achieving the goal of reaching every last child with the polio vaccine, an estimated US$ 14 billion are expected in cumulative cost savings by 2050, with efforts to eradicate polio having already saved more than US$27 billion since 1988. The need of the hour now is a bold financial and political commitment from leaders, donors, and governments around the world to rally behind a polio-free future.
As the GPEI launches its new investment case for 2019-2023, it recognizes important stakeholders who have gotten the programme to where it is today. One of the most notable donors is His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed has been a critical partner and champion of the GPEI. His support has helped spur significant progress toward stopping polio in the remaining endemic countries, with a specific focus on strengthening immunization efforts in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In 2018, the GPEI was proud to announce that His Highness’ support for polio eradication activities through the GPEI and the UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme and helped deliver 417 million vaccines to protect some of the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach children in the highest risk districts across the country.