The total international cost polio eradication is nearly US $3 billion. The final push for polio eradication, begun in 1999, is the effort's most expensive part, requiring wave after wave of costly National Immunization Days (NIDs). US $1 billion, or a third of the entire international cost, is needed in the final countdown phase from 2002 through 2005.

As of April 2002, the Initiative faces a shortfall of US $275 million, including US $80 million for expenditures in 2002. Moreover, much of the US $725 million pledged by this date is projected, and not yet delivered. With resources and timetables already strained, and armed conflict continuing in several endemic countries, this funding gap threatens the achievement of a polio-free world.

A shortfall could have consequences for all phases of the Initiative, including: delayed vaccine orders, postponed or reduced numbers of NIDs and fewer numbers of children immunized. These delays translate into opportunities for wild poliovirus to spread. If polio transmission continues in the endemic countries beyond 2002, total costs could increase by a maximum of US $150 million.

The US $3 billion raised internationally does not include in-country expenditures by the 125 nations in which poliovirus still circulated in the early 1980s. The combined contributions of these countries – on routine immunizations, National Immunization Days (NIDs) and other follow-up -- is many times that of the international community.

Funding contributors to the Initiative are an impressive coalition of public and private organizations that includes millions of individuals. Governments lead the effort, joined by several important private sector partners. For example, Rotary International's singular dedication will have raised, by 2005, more than US $500 million for polio eradication – primarily from its own members. Other critical partners include multilateral institutions, private foundations, humanitarian organizations and corporations.

For the Initiative's 2002-2005 Financial Requirements and the Initiative's International Donors charts > How to help
For major donors > partners

© Sebastião Salgado

A crowd gathers to watch as a child is immunized against polio in the village of Gof Gudod near the town of Baidoa.