The Federal Government has announced it will contribute $80 million for the eradication of polio over the 2015-18 period.

The funding boost comes after the Government committed $50 million to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative from 2011-14.

The Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister applauded the leadership shown by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and Rotary International on polio. The Gates Foundation is contributing US$1.8 billion for the Polio Endgame Strategic Plan 2013 – 2018, which is one-third of the total budget. 

“Australia has a proud history of support for polio eradication. From 1912 to 1972, more than 30,000 cases of paralytic poliomyelitis were reported in Australia, and a number of polio survivors in Australia today still live with the pain and debilitation of post-polio syndrome,” Prime Minister Julia Gillard said in a statement.