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Pakistan and UNICEF Collaborate to Eliminate Polio

The Government of Pakistan and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to eradicate polio. This collaboration marks a monumental step in the global fight against this debilitating disease.

A Decade-Long Battle Against Polio

The journey to this momentous occasion began in 2011 when the Government of Pakistan declared a state of emergency to combat polio. The government launched an unwavering effort, channeling substantial financial resources, including grants and loans, into the Polio Emergency Program. During this crucial phase, the government committed $155 million to the cause. In a testament to global solidarity, an additional $100 million was secured in support from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

The Road to a Polio-Free Future

The meticulous groundwork is evident as all necessary documentation was successfully completed, and IsDB recently formalized its commitment by signing the Murabaha agreement. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, Federal Secretary Iftikhar Shallwani made a priority call to UNICEF, leading to the signing of the MoU. This document paves the way for the procurement of vaccines critical to the Polio Emergency Program, bringing hope to countless lives.

The signing ceremony saw Federal Secretary Shallwani and the country representative of UNICEF exchange signed documents, cementing their shared vision to eliminate polio. In a heartfelt expression of appreciation, Shallwani extended gratitude to all individuals and organizations that have steadfastly supported this program during these critical times.

Securing Additional Funds for Eradication Efforts

Efforts are ongoing to secure an additional $55 million from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and BMGF, emphasizing the comprehensive financial commitment required to combat polio effectively. The total cost of this ambitious five-year project (2022-2026) stands at $798 million. The remainder of the necessary funds will be sourced through the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, with generous contributions from donors and partners.

This partnership between the Government of Pakistan and UNICEF, WHO, Rotary, BMGF, and other partners stand as a beacon of hope and resilience in the global fight against polio. “Today’s signing is a resounding declaration that together, we can create a polio-free world.”

The collaboration between Pakistan and UNICEF is not just about eradicating a disease; it is about giving millions of children a chance at a healthier future. It is about making sure every child has access to life-saving vaccines. And most importantly, it is about showing that when we work together, we can overcome even the most formidable challenges.

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