The Polio Plus Subcommittee Chair is responsible for working to assist district Rotarians and clubs to (1) raise awareness about the global effort to eradicate polio, (2) advocate with governmental entities and other private organizations to assist in this effort, and (3) raise funds to support the End Polio Now campaign.
 
Through the efforts of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, spearheaded by Rotary International, over 2.5 billion children have been immunized against polio. The incidents of endemic polio have dropped from 125 countries to only two - Afghanistan and Pakistan, saving nearly 19 million children from paralysis. Rotarians to date have contributed well over $1.5 billion to support this effort.
 
Beginning in 2007, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged $100 million to match Rotary contributions and in 2009 increased this to $355 million. Rotary promised to raise $200 million by June 30, 2012 and ended up raising $228 million. The Gates Foundation pledged up to $35 million per year through 2018 to match Rotary contributions, two to one.  The Gates Foundation's total giving for the fight against polio was approximately $3.7 billion, through the end of 2018. Roughly a quarter of its polio funding is made in the form of matching grants to Rotary.
 
In January 2020, Rotary committed to raising $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 up to $450 million for polio eradication activities by the end of 2022.  
 
Polio—a paralyzing and sometimes deadly disease—is on the verge of becoming the second human disease in history to be eradicated. This critical funding helps ensure that children in at-risk countries are protected from polio, and that the wild poliovirus is eliminated in the last two countries that continue to report cases.
 
Click on the links on the left hand side of this page to reach other polio-related sites, to read the latest news, and to watch our video celebrating Rotary's eradication efforts to date.