Backgrounder - Canada’s continued leadership in the fight to end polio

The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, today announced additional funding to address recent polio outbreaks in East Africa and the Horn of Africa.

Funding will be provided through the following partners: 

World Health Organization (WHO) - $2 million

WHO is leading a project in East Africa and the Horn of Africa that will increase access to immunizations against the polio virus, by:

  • increasing the capacity of local governments to respond to outbreaks;
  • improving surveillance systems to monitor the epidemic of the polio virus in outbreak countries;
  • improving the delivery of services to children under five years old in outbreak regions; and
  • interrupting the spread of polio in countries of re-established transmission. 

UNICEF - $1 million

UNICEF is leading a project in Somalia to increase access to immunizations, by ensuring:

  • procurement of polio vaccines;
  • administration of immunization rounds for children; and
  • social mobilization campaigns raise awareness and encourage communities to accept the vaccine.

This new funding is in addition to the $250 million Canada announced on April 25, 2013, at the Global Vaccine Summit co-hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. More than $100 million of this six-year commitment (2013—2018) has already been disbursed, including toward the following recent initiatives:

  1. $20 million to the WHO and UNICEF for polio eradication activities in Afghanistan, including immunization campaigns, surveillance and vaccine procurement.
  2. $20 million to the WHO to support the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s Strategic Endgame Plan for 2014. The Strategic Endgame Plan 2013-2018 is a comprehensive six-year roadmap to eradicate remaining polio disease by ensuring that adequate immunization coverage and proper surveillance mechanisms are in place, responding to outbreaks and managing risks in the post-eradication era.
  3. $20 million over three years to UNICEF’s Polio Plus initiative in Pakistan which seeks polio eradication by increasing coverage, access and the effectiveness of the vaccine.
  4. $1.5 million to the WHO for polio eradication activities and social mobilization activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo.