MP Randy Hoback commends Canadian Rotarians’ fundraising to make polio history
OTTAWA, May 1, 2013 – MP Randy Hoback joined the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, and Rotary in Canada on Parliament Hill to celebrate the final tally of $2.27 million raised by Canadian Rotarians in support of the global effort to eradicate polio. The Harper Government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have agreed to match this initiative dollar for dollar.
“Canada’s deep commitment to eradicating polio has meant that hundreds of millions of children have been immunized, often in remote, impoverished, and very insecure regions of the world,” said MP Hoback*. “Together we can eliminate the polio virus and I look forward to working with constituents on this important goal.”
In September 2012 the Harper Government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation agreed to match dollar-for-dollar donations by Canadian Rotarians to the Pennies and More for Polio initiative until March 1, 2013, to a maximum of $1 million. This cap was lifted in February to match the total amount of funds raised through the initiative by Canadian Rotarians. All three partners will provide their contributions directly to the World Health organization’s Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
Last week at the Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Minister Fantino announced that the Harper Government will invest $250 million over the next six years to support global polio eradication. This commitment will help eradicate this disease in the few pockets where it still remains a health challenge. This historic commitment will include opportunities for Canadian engagement in polio eradication.
“I applaud Canadians for their generosity and encourage them to continue to support the goal of eradicating polio,” said Minister Fantino. ‘‘The real winners of this campaign are children, as the funds collected will help ensure that children are protected from this devastating disease.”
The government’s Economic Action Plan 2013 affirms Canada’s commitment to international development investments such as immunization. The new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development will maintain the mandate of poverty alleviation, and will ensure greater efficiency, accountability, and focus to continue to improve the lives of people in need around the world.