Simcoe, Ontario – Today, Diane Finley, Member of Parliament for Haldimand-Norfolk, on behalf of the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, announced the Harper Government’s support of the ‘Pennies and More for Polio Initiative’. This joint initiative between the Government of Canada, Rotary Foundation, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation presents an opportunity to engage Canadians in the global effort to eradicate polio.
“Canada’s deep commitment to eradicating polio has meant that hundreds of thousands of children have been immunized, often in remote, impoverished, and very insecure regions of the world,” said Minister Fantino. “The unwavering commitment of countries around the world, and of organizations such as the Rotary Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will help put an end to this devastating disease, which can be prevented with a simple vaccine. The Pennies and More for Polio Initiative will help us to achieve that goal.”
“The Pennies and More for Polio Initiative invites Canadians to join in the fight to eradicate polio. The Government of Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) will match funds to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative at a ratio of $1 for every $1 raised by Rotarians in Canada, up to a maximum of $1 million,” said Ms. Finley.
“The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will likewise provide funds of equal value, at a ratio of $1 for every $1 raised by Rotarians in Canada. This would result in every $1 raised by the Rotary Foundation leveraging an additional $2.”
“Canada and CIDA have proudly contributed to global efforts to eliminate polio, particularly where it threatens the health of the most vulnerable,” said Wilf Wilkinson of the Rotary Foundation. “This joint initiative will allow more Canadian individuals, groups, and organizations to contribute directly in the eradication of polio.”
“Canada and the Rotary Foundation have demonstrated a consistent commitment to eradicating polio, and they offer critical support around the world for this achievable goal,” said Chris Elias, president of the global development program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “In times of fiscal austerity, this innovative program led by CIDA and the Rotary Foundation will help strengthen the global movement to end polio and lead us on a path to protect all children from vaccine-preventable diseases. We are proud to lend our support to encourage even more support.”
For more information on the Government of Canada’s support for polio eradication, please visit CIDA’s Web site.
– 30 –
For more information, members of the media should contact:
Director of Communications to the Minister of International Cooperation
Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Follow us on Twitter: @CIDA_CA