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Minister Sherlock confirms funding on World Polio Day

Minister of State for Development, Trade Promotion and North South Co-operation, Mr. Seán Sherlock, T.D., has highlighted the importance of World Polio Day, as €400,000 of Irish Aid funding is allocated to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

Minister Sherlock highlighted the work of Irish Aid in supporting the eradication of diseases linked to poverty. Irish Aid has provided €17 million to the World Health Organization Global Polio Eradication Initiative since 2006 to develop the capacity of the world’s least developed countries to build sustainable healthcare systems and support the final push to eradicate polio in the world.

Speaking on World Polio Day, Minister Sherlock said:

“Polio as a disease resonates strongly in Ireland where epidemics in the 1940’s and 1950’s left many people, particularly children, severely or partially paralysed before the introduction of routine polio vaccination.

We are now close to eradicating polio worldwide, however we must first overcome critical challenges to public health and immunisation systems in developing countries, which are often brought on by conflict and insecurity. It is fitting that World Polio Day 2015 specifically recognises the health workers who continue to work tirelessly and courageously to reach all children with polio vaccines.

Ireland’s ongoing support to both the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and the Gavi Vaccine Alliance aims to ensure that access to life-saving vaccinations, one of the most cost-effective investments in public health and global development, is ensured for all children.

This work is central to Ireland’s foreign policy and the work of Irish Aid as we continue to help to build better futures for the world’s poorest communities.

Press Office
23 October 2015