UAE donates $50 million to fight polio

On Wednesday, Kathleen Sebelius, the United States health and human services secretary, praised the United Arab Emirates $50 million donation to fight polio in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The money will go to the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization to deliver polio vaccines in the two countries, which are among the only four in the world where the disease is still endemic, The National reports.

The donation was made by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to the Child Polio Eradication Program in Pakistan and Afghanistan. An equal sum of $50 million was also allocated to the program by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The donations were recognized during a meeting of the donor countries for the Child Polio Eradication Program that was held on the sidelines of the WHO general assembly meeting in Geneva, The National reports. The UAE also provided $300,000 through the Red Crescent Association to purchase oral vaccines for children during recent floods in Pakistan in 2010.

The meeting was attended by Bill Gates, the chief executive of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Hanif Hassan Ali, the minister of health, Margaret Chan, the director general of the WHO, and ministers of the donor countries.