The government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has pledged a gift of $30 million to help combat the global issue of polio, and the gift is said to be sufficient to potentially eradicate the disease once and for all. The announcement of the donation was issued by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative during the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. It was made by members of the GPEI, including Bill Gates and the UAE Ambassador, Yousef Al Otaiba.
An Impressive Partnership
Bill Gates, as one of the founders of the Gates Foundation, has been partnered with the UAE government since 2011. At the time, the UAE wanted to help promote public health through the dissemination of valuable vaccines, and polio was one of their primary targets. In the years since the partnership began, the UAE has donated more than $150 million to fighting polio in Pakistan and Syria, which led to a decrease of 60 percent in the rate of infection in Pakistan.
Bill Gates and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan hosted the inaugural Global Vaccine Summit in 2013, which was held in Abu Dhabi. The Sheikh was the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, so he drew a large audience of potential donators. The summit received an incredible $4 billion in pledges for donations that would directly combat polio across the world.
The Eradication of Polio
The UAE has a grand tradition of offering aid where humanitarian help is needed, and their partnership with the Gates Foundation has led to the creation of one of the most influential vaccination support groups in the world. Their goal is to provide the entire world with safe and secure environments completely free of polio and the disadvantages that come with it.
If a future without polio could possibly be imagined as a realistic potential, now would be the time. Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria all still have cases of polio, but the recent donation from the UAE will provide doctors with the tools necessary to combat the spread of the disease.
The President of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, declared that 2017 would be the ‘Year of Giving’ for the nation, and this gift certainly falls into that category. Historically speaking, the UAE already has a great reputation for their humanitarian efforts and their desire to aid in philanthropic projects, and they donate more of their wealth than most other developed nations.