New funding to ensure 370 million children receive polio vaccinations and to boost health innovation in low-income countries

Oct. 11, 2023
Today, wild poliovirus remains endemic in just two countries – Pakistan and Afghanistan – and 80% of variant poliovirus cases are found in just four subnational regions.

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.

Specifically, the funding partnership is expected to include:

  • €500 million in new funding for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (as outlined above)
  • €500 million in investments and grants to ensure health innovations are more accessible, strengthen health systems and prepare for future pandemics: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation plans to provide €250 million of grants and investments to match a €250 million in investments made by the European Investment Bank and guaranteed by the European Fund for Sustainable Development plus.
  • €80 million grants for Technical Assistance: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation expects to match €40 million in grants from the European Commission to provide technical assistance and ensure that global health programs achieve their full potential.

WHO release