The United Nations Foundation late yesterday announced that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had delivered $15 million of its $30 million commitment to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).
Half the funds will be used in 2011 by UNICEF for vaccines and by the World Health Organization (WHO) to support campaign operations. The remaining funds will be released in 2012 to support both agencies. Countries benefiting from the funds include several members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation countries, such as Yemen, Somalia and Sudan.
The Timothy Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation, thanked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said "This significant contribution will save thousands of children from the devastating effects of the deadly disease Polio. It's more than just a donation - it's a gift that symbolizes the successful partnership between donors and health workers for millions of children. "
Polio is still endemic in four countries: "Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan", but influenced by more than 20 countries, has spread polio virus, including Russia and the republics of Central Asia, and more recently in China.