Minister Bibeau announces new Canadian support to help eradicate polio

News Release

June 12, 2017 – Atlanta, Georgia - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, today announced that Canada will contribute $100 million over three years to the Global Polio Eradication Initiatives’ Endgame Strategic Plan, which seeks to wipe polio out for good by 2020.

This new contribution aligns with Canada’s leadership on gender equality within global health by helping ensure equal access to needed vaccines and interventions for both girls and boys and by engaging women as community social mobilizers and front-line health workers.

Canada has been a significant supporter of the fight against polio from the very beginning, having contributed over $600 million to eradication efforts since 2000.

With only three polio-endemic countries remaining in the world, and only five new cases so far in 2017, global polio eradication is closer than ever. Canada remains steadfast in its commitment to working with Canadian and international partners to eradicate polio by 2020.

Minister Bibeau announced Canada’s pledge at a Global Polio Pledging Event at the Rotary International Convention held today in Atlanta, Georgia. The event was attended by Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; John Germ, President of Rotary International, John Cena, WWE superstar, actor and Rotary polio ambassador; and more than 20,000 Rotarians, including 1,000 Canadians.

Quotes

“Canada has been a leader in the fight against polio from the very beginning and we are committed to seeing it through to the end.

“We need to increase our efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria, where polio still exists, and ensure every child is immunized, particularly girls, who continue to face barriers.”

- Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

Quick Facts

  • In 1988, there were more than 350,000 polio cases in more than 125 polio endemic countries. In 2016, there were only 37 cases. This represents a 99-percent reduction.

  • Polio remains endemic in only three countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.

  • Polio mainly affects children under the age of five and can cause irreversible paralysis. Among those paralyzed, 5 to 10 percent die when their muscles become immobilized.

  • Immunization is one of the most cost-effective health interventions to end preventable child mortality, and is aligned with Canada’s priority to address the health and rights of women and children.

  • To date, including today’s announcement, Canada has committed more than $700 million toward the efforts to protect every child against polio.

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Contacts

Marie-Emmanuelle Cadieux
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie
343-203-6238
marie-emmanuelle.cadieux@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
343-203-7700
media@international.gc.ca
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