EIB Commits €500 Million in Landmark Investment to Eradicate Polio Globally

EIB Commits €500 Million in Landmark Investment to Eradicate Polio Globally

(IN BRIEF) The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced a substantial investment of €500 million to support the eradication of polio in Africa and Asia. This landmark commitment was unveiled during a press conference in Brussels, signifying a historic partnership between the EIB, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the European Commission. The EIB’s innovative financing initiative is part of a broader €1.1 billion effort to combat polio, emphasizing the importance of global collaboration in addressing this long-standing health threat. The funds will be directed towards the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, specifically WHO and UNICEF, to cover polio vaccinations for nearly 370 million children each year. The investment will bolster immunization programs, procure and distribute vaccines, enhance healthcare infrastructure, train healthcare workers, and engage communities to raise awareness about vaccination. President Werner Hoyer highlighted the EIB’s commitment to this cause, emphasizing the role of innovative financing in public health improvement and disease eradication. The partnership aims to mark the final chapter in the fight against polio, ensuring that every child can be protected from this disease.

(PRESS RELEASE) LUXEMBOURG, 12-Oct-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — On 11 October, the European Investment Bank (EIB) reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to global health with a landmark investment of €500 million in support of the eradication of polio in Africa and Asia. The announcement was made at a joint press conference event in Brussels, where an innovative financing partnership, linked to key implementation milestones, marked a historic partnership between the EIB, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the European Commission.

The EIB is supporting the €1.1 billion initiative through €500 million innovative delivery focused financing. This demonstrates the EIB’s clear commitment to the cause of global health and underscores the importance of international collaboration between health, financing and philanthropy partners to end the threat of polio- a devastating disease that has plagued communities for decades.

The partnership aims to deliver €500 million in payments to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative – specifically the WHO and UNICEF. The funds will cover polio vaccinations for nearly 370 million children annually. The funding will primarily be directed towards strengthening immunization programs in regions where polio remains a threat.

It will support the procurement and distribution of vaccines, ensuring that they reach vulnerable populations effectively. Additionally, the investment will be channelled into public health initiatives such as vaccination campaigns, healthcare infrastructure improvement, training of healthcare workers, and community engagement to raise awareness about vaccination.

President Werner Hoyer, speaking alongside Bill Gates, WHO and UNICEF leaders and the European Commission highlighted the crucial role of innovative financing to improve public health and eradicate polio.

“Today we are united to write the final chapter in the history of polio. The EIB is playing its part in a unique partnership with philanthropy and health partners, by providing €500 million for investment in support of the Global Polio Eradication Programme. This initiative will be a milestone in scaling up immunization and strengthening healthcare, ensuring that every child, regardless of their circumstances, can be protected against polio,” said Werner Hoyer.

President Hoyer also participated in a panel discussion “Healthy Hopes: Reasons for optimism in science and global cooperation.” He spoke alongside European Commissioner for Health, Belgian Cooperation Minister, WHO Director General and UNICEF Executive Director and Bill Gates to highlight the crucial need to scale up innovative financing to improve global public health.

Addressing the audience, President Hoyer said: “Investing in health for all is at the heart of the EIB. When it comes to solving global challenges such as eradicating diseases, we need to mobilise money to support high-impact and risky projects. We need to share this risk: this is why we rely on our partners, philanthropic organisations and global health partners. Working together, we can eradicate polio.”

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SOURCE: European Investment Bank


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