Out Front on Advocating Polio Eradication

One of Rotary’s chief responsibilities in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative is advocacy. In addition to contributing more than $1.3 billion to the initiative, Rotary has helped secure over $10 billion from donor governments since the GPEI was launched in 1988. Here are highlights from this past year:

June 2014 — At Rotary’s convention in Sydney, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announces an AU$100 million, five-year commitment to boost support for eradication efforts in Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan, where wild poliovirus transmission has never been stopped, and countries in Africa and the Middle East that have experienced outbreaks.

More than 100,000 people from 171 countries participate in the World’s Biggest Commercial, which sets a Guinness World Record as the largest photo awareness campaign.

May — A campaign involving Canadian Rotary Districts 5360 and 5370 (parts of Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, and Saskatchewan) raises CA$350,000 as part of a joint effort with the Alberta government, which matches that amount for a total of $700,000.

JanuaryU.S. President Barack Obama signs an omnibus appropriations bill that provides $205 million to support polio eradication in 2014, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Agency for International Development. Rotary’s Polio Eradication Advocacy Task Force for the United States leads Rotary’s efforts to inform the U.S. government and other funding sources of the urgency and benefits of supporting the GPEI.

November 2013 — Rotary, the government of Brazil, and the Pan American Health Organization sign a Declaration of Commitment and Collaboration Toward the Goal of a Polio-Free World at a symposium on strategies for eradicating the disease, in São Paulo.

OctoberWorld Polio Day: Making History, an event co-hosted by Rotary and the Northwestern University Center for Global Health, showcases the progress of the GPEI to a live audience and streams live to viewers worldwide. A reception held before the presentation in Chicago draws representatives from corporations, foundations, educational institutions, and government agencies.

Learn how you can advocate for polio eradication

Emmy Award-winning actor and Rotary polio eradication ambassador Archie Panjabi (left) explains why she's so dedicated to helping Rotary eradicate polio.

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