Global Polio Eradication Initiative
To support the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) and achieve a polio-free world by 2018, Alwaleed Foundation provided a $30 million grant to the Polio Eradication Fund (PEF) – operated by the National Philanthropic Trust of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Gates Foundation pays for all the operational costs of PEF, allowing 100% of Alwaleed Foundation’s donation to be allocated to polio eradication efforts. PEF, in turn, makes grants to UNICEF and WHO to implement critical polio eradication campaigns.
In 2013, the PEF funding helped 80 million children in 15 countries receive the oral polio vaccine (OPV). Campaigns were introduced in high-risk areas including Cameroon and Kenya, as well as in Egypt and the Palestinian territories due to the influx of Syrian refugees requiring vaccinations. During 2014, as indicated by WHO and UNICEF, the PEF funding supported activities in 24 countries. In Yemen, this was translated into national immunization campaigns covering 3.5 million children, while 200,000 of inactivated polio vaccines (IPV) were procured in Pakistan, and 3.8 million children were vaccinated in Chad.