Bill Gates, co-chair of Gates Foundation joined Rotary president John Germ to announce $450 Million pledge at the annual Rotary International Convention in Atlanta.

By Michela Tindera (Forbes) |

As the world inches closer toward eradicating polio, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and service organization Rotary will spend nearly half a billion dollars in an effort to eliminate the disease over the next three years.

Bill Gates joined Rotary president John Germ to announce this pledge at the annual Rotary International Convention on Monday in Atlanta, GA.

Beginning July 1, the Gates Foundation will match Rotary’s commitment to raise $50 million a year over the next three years, two-to-one. That means another $450 million could go to eradicating the disease by 2020. The matching program adds to a previous pledge from 2013, when the Gates Foundation pledged to match Rotary contributions two-to-one, up to $35 million each year through 2018. With this commitment, the two organizations will have together raised nearly $1.5 billion to fight polio since 2007.

The money will fund both the administration of oral vaccinations in the countries where children are still at risk for contracting polio, and increase disease surveillance efforts, like testing sewage water, to detect where the virus could still be circulating in communities.

“Some people, especially these days, think the world is getting worse,” Gates said in his speech at the Rotary convention. “The progress on polio is a reminder of what people can accomplish when they are bold, determined, and willing to work together.”

Continue reading this story at Forbes
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