After going weeks without a new case of polio being reported, one new case was reported in Afghanistan this past week. But there are two bright spots to celebrate. First, year to date only 6 cases have been reported as compared to 17 cases at this time during the prior year.
Once that number reaches zero there will still be much work to do. The partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (The Word Health Organization, Rotary International, The US Centers for Disease Control, The Gates Foundation and UNICEF) estimate that $1.5 billion is needed to finish the job. There is great news on this front though.
At the Atlanta Convention, President John Germ announced that Rotary would increase its commitment and rise $50 million per year for the next 3 years. Since 1985 Rotary has contributed more than $1.7 billion to fight the disease. The Gates Foundation announced it would extend its 2:1 match to cover up to $50 million in donations for each of the next 3 years. Combined that brings an additional $450 million for eradication over the next 3 years.
Also at the convention, many countries and foundations answered the call and have made the following pledges toward polio eradication for a total of more than $1 billion pledged.
Nigeria: $134.6 million
Pakistan: $154.7 million
Canada: $75 million
Euro. Commission $61.4 million
Japan: $55 million
UA Emirates: $30 million
Dalio Foundation: $30 million
Bloomberg Philanthropies: $25 million
Anonymous: $15 million
Germany: $11.2 million
Easyjet  $5 million
Italy: $5 million
Korea: $4 million
Korea Foundation: $2 million
UN Foundation/Shot@Life:    $1.7 million
Switzerland: $1.03 million
Luxembourg: $500,000
Monaco: $330,000
UNICEF: $514,000
Accenture: $20,000
Spain: $20,000
Malta: $30,000
Turkey: $60,000
New Era Foundation: $130,000
Next time you celebrate a birthday, are fined, or are simply feeling like you want to be  part of what Bill Gates calls “One of the world’s greatest achievements,” consider sponsoring a cyclist in the 2017 Ride to End Polio.