Norway will contribute to the GAVI Alliance’s complementary role to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in the poorest countries
Børge Brende, Norwegian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI Alliance
Credit : GAVI/2014/Tormod Simensen
Geneva, 5 June 2014 – The GAVI Alliance has welcomed Norway’s commitment towards the global effort to end polio, led by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).
In an agreement signed this week in Oslo, Norway has committed to contribute US$ 190 million (NOK 1.14 billion) to the GAVI Alliance’s polio work for the period 2014-2019. This will support the Alliance’s effort to complement GPEI’s work, strengthening routine immunisation and introducing inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) in GAVI-supported countries.
“Norway’s leadership in global health is legendary, this additional support for inactivated polio immunisation and strengthening routine immunisation inspires the world to work together for a world without polio,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI Alliance.
“I am delighted that we have signed an agreement with GAVI to support global efforts to eradicate polio,” said Børge Brende, Norwegian Minister for Foreign Affairs. “We have a unique opportunity to eradicate this infectious and debilitating disease, but it will require an extra effort if we are to succeed.”
“The international community is at a pivotal period in its efforts to eradicate polio,” added Dr Berkley. “Norway’s support to the GAVI Alliance is critical in our efforts to strengthen routine immunisation and contribute to the polio endgame strategy, both of which will protect future generations of children.”
Last year, GAVI committed to support IPV introduction into the routine immunisation programmes in up to 73 countries that the Alliance works with. It is anticipated that the first GAVI-supported countries will begin to introduce IPV before the end of 2014. So far, 26 countries have applied to GAVI for IPV support.
In May 2013, the World Health Assembly endorsed the new Polio Eradication & Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018, calling on countries to introduce at least one dose of IPV before the end of 2015 and begin the phased removal of widely used oral polio vaccines (OPV) which contain a weakened but live form of the virus.