Ireland is to provide €5m to help the global eradication of Polio.
The news comes following a joint statement today by Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore and Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello.
Speaking at the Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi, Minister Costello said the Irish Government would provide the money over the next five years to help the global fight to eradicate the disease.
The commitment will see Ireland join a number of other donors and funders that have also made public pledges of support towards polio vaccination and eradication.
The Tanaiste said that many people in Ireland could still recall the fear of polio and that the disease had destroyed the lives of countless Irish people.
“It wasn’t until a rigorous vaccination programme was introduced in the 1950’s and 60’s that we eliminated the scourge of this terrible disease,” he said.
Minister Costello said that every generation has a great moment to seize in the eradication of diseases and that this was our moment.
The Vaccine Summit is being co-hosted by Bill Gates of Microsoft, together with the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon and His Highness, General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayad bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.
It’s understood that going forward the plan will concentrate on eradicating the disease in the countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.
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