Our commitment as Rotarians continues
by Chuck Arnason, District Rotary Foundation Chair
We are no longer this close, we are counting down to ZERO.
I was in the audience of nearly 40,000 Rotary members attending Rotary’s annual convention in Atlanta. During one session, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation renewed their longstanding support for ending polio. Rotary committed to raise $50 million per year over the next three years, with every dollar to be matched with two additional dollars from the Gates Foundation. This expanded agreement will translate into $450 million for polio eradication activities, including immunization and surveillance over the next three years. This critical funding helps ensure countries around the world remain polio-free and that polio is ended in the remaining three endemic countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and RI President John Germ announce new pledges toward the polio eradication effort at the Rotary Convention in Atlanta. During the session, we heard the news that world governments and other donors have pledged to contribute US$1.2 billion total to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative for polio eradication efforts. The government funding will substantially help to close the US$1.5 billion funding gap, allowing partners to immunize 450 million children every year and support rigorous disease surveillance in both endemic and at-risk polio-free countries. While the government funding makes considerable headway in the fight to end polio, continued support from donors remains vital to achieve a polio-free world.
Next week or so we’ll look at the final giving numbers from 2016-2017. It looks like it will be a ‘banner’ year.
Heads’ up folks … registration is now live for the 2017 Foundation and Membership Workshops on August 5. Go to dacdb.com calendar and register. You won’t be disappointed.
And don’t forget to contact your club End Polio Now organizer to register for the game in your area. The Richmond Rotary Night at the Diamond is on July 13. This week you probably need to get your tickets so all can sit together and boost the Rotary image with our End Polio Now tee shirts. Just contact Debbie or Stan Wall for the shirts firstname.lastname@example.org.