On Tuesday, January 7, the Government of Canada announced that it would donate $20 million over the next three years to support efforts to eradicate polio in Pakistan.

The announcement was made by Canada’s Minister of State (Multiculturalism) Tim Uppal during a visit to Pakistan, where he met with health professionals and UNICEF staff who were fighting polio throughout the country.

“Canada is leading the fight to eradicate polio globally,” said Minister Uppal. “In Pakistan, Canada was the first donor to tackle the conditions that allow polio to continue to keep a foothold […] Canada’s continued support will increase the number of children immunized, improve access for vaccinators by increasing community acceptance and increase the effectiveness of the vaccine by decreasing vulnerability to polio from malnutrition and illness.”

Canada’s pledge is in line with its support for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, which aims to eradicate the disease by 2018. This new pledge will specifically assist the UNICEF Polio Plus initiative in Pakistan.