The United Nations Foundation applauds a generous, three-year
commitment of US$75,000 from the government of the Principality of
Liechtenstein to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).
Championed by Liechtenstein’s Ambassador to the U.S. Claudia Fritsche,
the gift will contribute to polio immunization programs in some of the
world's poorest and most marginalized communities where the disease
“Liechtenstein’s pledge demonstrates that every country, no matter
the size, can help thousands of children never experience the crippling
effects of polio,” said Ambassador Fritsche. “We all have a part to play
in ensuring that future generations are healthy and able to reach their
The number of new cases of polio, a disease that once paralyzed 1,000
children a day, dropped by over 99 percent from 1988 to last year. This
all-time low presents the best opportunity in history to end polio,
which could otherwise spread quickly from the remaining three countries
where polio transmission has not yet been stopped—Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. Challenges
remain, and recent outbreaks make it clear that global support is
critical to ending this crippling and sometimes fatal disease.
“We are grateful for Liechtenstein’s contribution to help polio
eradication succeed, and look forward to working with governments around
the world to stop this disease once and for all,” said Kathy Calvin,
President and CEO of the UN Foundation.
Liechtenstein’s commitment also contributes to Every Woman Every Child, an unprecedented global movement,
spearheaded by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to mobilize and
intensify global action to improve the health of women and children
around the world. Working with leaders from governments, multilateral
organizations, the private sector
and civil society, Every Woman Every Child aims to save the lives of 16
million women and children and improve the lives of millions more.
Thanks to immunization advocacy by the partners leading GPEI, which
include Rotary International, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, and
the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, with support
from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UN Foundation, most
of the world is now polio-free. Since the founding of the GPEI in 1988,
the overall number of polio cases worldwide has decreased from 350,000
to 223 in 2012.
Media Contact: Tina Musoke | 202.496.6386 | tmusoke(at)unfoundation(dot)org
About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998
with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion
gift to support UN causes and activities. The UN Foundation builds and
implements public/private partnerships to address the world’s most
pressing problems, and works to broaden support for the UN through
advocacy and public outreach. Through campaigns and partnerships, the organization connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The campaigns
reduce child mortality, empower women and girls, create a new energy
future, secure peace and human rights, and promote technology innovation
to improve health outcomes. These solutions are helping the UN advance
the eight global targets known as the Millennium Development Goals
(MDGs). For more information, visit http://www.unfoundation.org.
About the Global Polio Eradication Initiative
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is a public-private
partnership led by national governments and spearheaded by the World
Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the US Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the United Nations Children’s
Fund (UNICEF). Its goal is to eradicate polio worldwide. For more
information, visit http://www.polioeradication.org.