Polio Eradication gets big boost, Future Vision launched in Lisbon
ROTARY INTERNATIONAL April 2013 A Call to End Polio
An announcement at the Rotary International Convention in Lisbon, Portugal, set the stage for a bold new chapter in the partnership between Rotary and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in the campaign for polio eradication. "Going forward, the Gates Foundation will match two-to-one, up to US$35 million per year, every dollar Rotary commits to reduce the funding shortfall for polio eradication through 2018," said Jeff Raikes, the foundation's chief executive officer, in a prerecorded video address shown during the convention's plenary session on 25 June. "If fully realized, the value of this new partnership with Rotary is more than $500 million. In this way, your contributions to polio will work twice as hard."
The joint effort, called End Polio Now – Make History Today, comes during a critical phase for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative . The estimated cost of the initiative's 2013-18 Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan is $5.5 billion. Funding commitments , announced at the Global Vaccine Summit in April, total $4 billion. Unless the $1.5 billion funding gap is met, immunization levels in polio-affected countries will decrease. And if polio is allowed to rebound, within a decade, more than 200,000 children worldwide could be paralyzed every year.
Rotary and the Gates Foundation are determined not to let polio make a comeback. "We will combine the strength of Rotary's network with our resources, and together with the other partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), we will not just end a disease but change the face of public health forever," said Raikes.
In 2007, the Gates Foundation gave The Rotary Foundation a $100 million challenge grant for polio eradication, and in 2009, increased it to $355 million. Rotary agreed to raise $200 million in matching funds by 30 June 2012, but Rotarians in fact raised $228.7 million toward the challenge. "Now is the time for us all to take action: Talk to your government leaders, share your polio story with your social networks, and encourage others to join you in supporting this historic effort," Raikes added. "When Rotarians combine the passion for service along with the power of a global network, you are unstoppable, and the Gates Foundation is proud to partner with you. Let's make history and End Polio Now."
End game strategy
Actress Archie Panjabi, a Rotary polio eradication ambassador, recounted how, as a 10-year-old living in India, she had seen children crawling along the streets, propelled only by their hands. The image troubled her for years. When she was asked to join Rotary's This Close campaign in 2011, she said she realized that the children she'd seen were polio victims, and that by working to eliminate polio, she could help prevent others from suffering in that way. "I came to realize that we still have work to do, and how important it is for people like me -- people like you -- to use our voices to raise awareness of, and support for, the global effort to eradicate polio," Panjabi said. "As a Rotary polio ambassador, I will continue to do whatever I can to spread the word."
Million dollar donation
As a Rotarian, he said he takes pride in Rotary's good work and in the organization's leadership in the polio eradication campaign. "I hope my means will inspire others to join the fight to end polio in Nigeria," Offor said. "Polio can be eradicated in my country in my lifetime, and it will be."
Also during the plenary session, Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair Wilfrid Wilkinson reviewed The Rotary Foundation's accomplishments, all of which were made possible by a 1960s decision by Rotary leaders to use Foundation grants to fund Rotary service. "Because of the one moment ... because of their ambition, I can look back with all of you at 50 incredible years of achievements through our Foundation -- lives that we have touched, lives that we have saved, lives to which we have brought health, education, and hope," Wilkinson said. "And we can look ahead, in just a few years now, to a world free of polio."
Future Vision launch
Jorge Aufranc, past governor of District 4250, also shared how the new grant model has helped his district make a big impact in helping promote literacy and economic development in local communities. He said the district feared it would lose its connections when the Future Vision pilot began. But in reality, what could have been a challenge turned into an opportunity to do even more good. Aufrance introduced Mirna Pérez, the principal at Próximos Pasos, one of the schools helped by a District 4250 global grant. Pérez shared how a mechanical cow has helped students receive proper nutrition, and be more alert for their studies. It has also given them an incentive to come to school. The device turns soy beans into milk and a pulp called okara, and twice a week community members come to the school to bake cakes and tortillas. "Now the girls are becoming confident women who can succeed through education and become a generation that can go much further than their ancestors," Pérez said. Read more about the global grant.
Dear Friends, I have an urgent request: A polio outbreak
has emerged in Somalia and Kenya and the risk of spread –
even to neighboring countries – is very high, as many children
remain unimmunized. Together, we can make a difference.
Contribute to PolioPlus - The fight isn’t over. Polio is a crippling, potentially fatal infectious disease, and if we don’t finish the job of eradication, more than 10 million children under age five could be paralyzed in the next 40 years. For less than $1, a child can be vaccinated for life. Donate today.
Global Vaccine Summit yields US$4 billion in funding commitments to polio endgame plan - The 2013-18 Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan and about US$4 billion in funding commitments took center stage at the Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi 24-25 April.
Developed by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), the plan is designed to interrupt transmission of the wild poliovirus by the end of 2014, strengthen routine immunization, lay the groundwork for securing a lasting polio-free world, and transfer the eradication initiative's assets to other public health efforts.
The GPEI estimates the new plan will cost about US$5.5 billion. Governments, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, and other donors announced the commitments during the vaccine summit. They also called upon additional donors to commit the additional US$1.5 billion needed to ensure eradication.
The Global Vaccine Summit was hosted by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, in partnership with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The event drew 300 representatives from the GPEI partners and national governments, health experts, business leaders, and philanthropists. Rotary's International PolioPlus Committee Chair Robert Scott, India National PolioPlus Committee Chair Deepak Kapur, and PolioPlus Director Carol Pandak represented Rotary at the summit. Rotary polio ambassador and actress Archie Panjabi emceed the event.
"This plan isn't just a polio eradication plan, it's a global immunization plan with the goal of ending polio while improving efforts to protect all children, including the most vulnerable, with life-saving vaccines," said Gates. "Successful implementation of the plan requires a significant, but time-limited investment that will deliver a polio-free world and pay dividends for future generations."
Rotary International, along with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, are global partners in the GPEI. One of Rotary's chief responsibilities in the worldwide effort is advocacy. In addition to contributing more than US$1.2 billion to the GPEI, Rotary has helped secure over $9 billion from donor governments since the initiative began in 1988. It is estimated that polio eradication could save the world US$40-50 billion by 2035.
Gates announced that his foundation would commit to one-third of the total cost of the GPEI's budget over the plan's six-year implementation, for a total of $1.8 billion. A new group of philanthropists joined Gates in supporting the new plan, with commitments of an additional $335 million: the Albert L. Ueltschi Foundation, Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation-Global, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Carlos Slim Foundation, Dalio Foundation, Foundation for a Greater Opportunity established by Carl C. Icahn, and Tahir Foundation.
Long-time donors Canada, Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom, as well as Nigeria, made new commitments, and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi announced a second pledge to polio eradication of US$120 million, adding to his first contribution made in 2011. A range of other donors, including the Islamic Development Bank, Ireland, and Japan, helped round out the additional pledges.
Rotary, the initial donor to the GPEI, pledged its commitment through 2018 to raise funds and mobilize support of the endgame strategy. "To stop polio once and for all, we need to act quickly so that children are fully protected and countries are not re-infected," said RI President Sakuji Tanaka. "This takes the commitment of national and local leaders where polio still exists, the continued support of donor countries, and the steadfast commitment of heroic vaccinators."
Eradicating Polio: Polio has decreased by 99 percent to just 22 cases this year (as of 24 April), and only three countries – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria – remain endemic for the disease. Without eradication, however, the disease could come back and paralyze more than 200,000 children worldwide every year within a decade.
The extensive polio eradication infrastructure established by the GPEI is also helping to fight measles, malaria, and other diseases, along with aiding response to disaster-related health emergencies. After polio is eradicated, the endgame plan calls for the transfer of the GPEI's assets to ensure lasting public health benefits.
"After millennia battling polio, this plan puts us within sight of the endgame," said World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan. "The extensive experience, infrastructure and knowledge gained from ending polio can help us reach all children and all communities with essential health services."
Highlights of Actions Taken by the Trustees of The Rotary Foundation - The Rotary Foundation Trustees met from 12–13 January 2013 in San Diego, CA, USA. The Trustees reviewed five committee reports and recorded 35 decisions. The following are highlights of actions taken. Administration - The Trustees elected Trustee Michael K. McGovern to serve as their vice-chairman in 2013–14.
Fund Development and Recognition - The Trustees selected forty-three Rotarians to receive The Rotary Foundation Distinguished Service Award, the Foundation's highest service recognition. The Trustees also selected the winner of The Rotary Foundation Global Alumni Service to Humanity Award to be presented at the 2013 RI (Lisbon) Convention, and also selected a winner of The Rotary Foundation Alumni Association of the Year Award, to be presented at the 2013 Rotary Alumni Celebration in Lisbon.
The Trustees changed some terminology used for the funds of the Foundation as follows: The Annual Programs Fund is now the Annual Fund; and the Rotary Foundation Permanent Fund is now the Endowment Fund.
Programs - The Trustees: agreed to recognize districts giving 20 percent or more of their available District Designated Funds to PolioPlus as a way of securing financial support until polio is eradicated, and requested the general secretary and International PolioPlus Committee chairman to develop the recognition plan;
* approved 10 Rotarians to receive the International Service Award for a Polio-Free World;
* approved PolioPlus grants to Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Horn of Africa, India, and Pakistan;
* expressed their condolences to the families impacted by the recent killings of health care workers during polio immunization campaigns in Pakistan and approved a grant of up to US$18,360 to the Pakistan National PolioPlus Committee to compensate the families;
* Agreed to provide blanket travel insurance coverage for individuals traveling on Rotary Foundation grants and Rotary peace fellowships, beginning 1 July 2013.
Foundation Facts (as of 31 December 2012)
Paul Harris Fellows: 1,369,091
Foundation Benefactors: 88,958
Major Donors: 17,417
Arch C. Klumph Society Members: 413