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Brussels, 13 January 2014
India marks three years since last polio case reported
Joint Statement by Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response and Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Development
We very much welcome the news about India marking three years since the last case of polio was reported.
The EU is firmly committed to the eradication of polio.
The Commission alone has made large contributions in the past, with as much as €170 million spent on polio eradication programmes in partner countries since the year 2000.
While we applaud the progress in India, we also see that where conflict rages and health systems are destroyed we see the return of polio. Syria is the most striking example. In order to eradicate polio we need functioning immunisation and sustainable health systems. That’s why the Commission already substantially supports the health sector in partner countries. On average half a billion euros goes to health each year.
We also recall that President Barroso announced last year at the Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi, that the EU would join partners in giving further support to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, with 5 million euro already made available in 2013.
So in the future, as in the past, the European Union will be a key ally in the global effort for immunisation.