“These new funds come at a critical juncture for us,” said the Representative for Polio Eradication at the World Health Organization (WHO), David Heymann. “The goal is to finish the job by the end of 2004 – but to succeed, eradication efforts must be intensified, and this means more financial resources are urgently needed.”But the partners in the international drive – WHO, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Rotary International and the United States Centers for Disease Control – warned that a shortage of funds still stands in the way of a polio-free world, and urged the global community to follow Canada’s lead and provide the necessary resources.The Canadian contribution comes in response to an intensification of eradication efforts in the last six countries that remain polio-endemic – Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Niger, Afghanistan and Egypt – down from over 125 when the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was launched in 1988.The partners have been working with countries to head off an outbreak of polio that has spread from Nigeria to previously polio-free areas of West and Central Africa.”Canada has been a consistent ally of African children, and this latest contribution is yet another example of Canada’s real commitment to development in the region,” UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy said. “The new resources will help Africa win this fight and bring the world closer to becoming polio-free.”
Tag Archiv: Archibald
To highlight – and help alleviate – the severe lack of donations to the United Nations-led relief effort in Sudan’s Darfur region, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has decided to contribute to it the $500,000 he was awarded in February by the Zayed Prize for environmental leadership.Mr. Annan had announced on receiving the prize that it would serve as seed money for a foundation he had planned to establish to promote girls’ education and agriculture in Africa. “Given the massive shortfall in contributions to the Darfur relief effort, he now feels that the money is more urgently needed there,” a UN spokesman said in New York, adding, however, that he is still proceeding with plans to establish a fund along the line he had announced.According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), only 20 per cent of the funds requested from donors has been contributed for the region, which has been devastated by a three-year struggle between rebels and the Government and its allied militias.Because of the funding gap, the World Food Programme (WFP) said in April that it would have to drastically reduce food rations this month for 6.1 million people all over Sudan, and Mr. Annan said last Friday that he hopes that not just Governments but – as with the Tsunami relief effort – ordinary citizens, corporations and other actors will step forward to help meet the urgent needs. “He hopes his decision will help encourage other donors to contribute,” his spokesman said today.