In 2017, the world stands closer than ever before to eradicating polio, a nearly unparalleled public health achievement. This global effort is led by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), housed at the World Health Organization (WHO) and comprised of five core partners: the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF), Rotary International, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the WHO.
GPEI has made remarkable progress since its inception in 1988, when more than 365,000 people every year still suffered from paralysis due to polio. Today, polio cases are endemic in only three countries, and 2016 saw the fewest cases ever reported—only 37 in the entire year.
A generous network of public and private donors funds the incredible work to eradicate polio. To completely eradicate polio from the globe, GPEI seeks funding from donors approximately every three to five years to fund the next phase of its work during a replenishment. The most recent replenishment occurred in 2013 and raised a total commitment of US $5.5 billion, most which was specified for the 2013–2017 period.
Gearing up for its next replenishment on June 12, 2017, at the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, GPEI seeks to raise an additional $1.5 billion. This will fully fund its operations through the eradication of polio and the critical three-year certification period following the world’s last polio case. As part of ACTION’s efforts to ensure GPEI remains fully funded, we have launched the ACTION Polio Accountability Tool.
This new tool tells the unique history of polio eradication and tracks the government dollars that make eradication a likelihood. With an eye to impact, the timeline section of the tool demonstrates how funding for GPEI has continually created lasting reductions in polio burden globally and improved health for people all over the world.
In the scorecard section, the tool captures 99 percent of public donor commitments to polio eradication and measures donor performance in making and delivering on commitments in the most recent past replenishment round. It also provides a recommendation to donors for the level they should continue contributing to polio eradication efforts in this year’s replenishment round.
All governments should continue to support the fight to eradicate polio globally. Use this tool to track your government’s participation in this effort. Through our collective action, we can ensure that future generations are completely free from polio.