ISLAMABAD, 18 December 2019 –
During a two-day visit, the high-level delegation of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and donor partners of the Lives and Livelihoods Fund (LLF) re-affirmed their commitment to support the Government of Pakistan in their fight against polio. The LLF has prioritized the eradication of polio and contributed over US$ 100 million to the Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme.
The financial assistance provided by the IsDB and the LLF has enabled the programme to strengthen various areas of work, including operations, surveillance, vaccine procurement, social mobilization and communications. Strengthening these areas of work has made the Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme more adaptable and responsive to the dynamic and rapidly changing polio eradication environment.
“We appreciate the long-standing partnership with the Islamic Development Bank and the Lives and Livelihoods Fund collaborators. Over the years we have come to count on them to keep up against the fight for a polio-free Pakistan. Beyond financial support, they have supported us in the advocacy to overcome religious refusals and highlighting vaccines efficacy and safety,” said Dr. Zafar Mirza, the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination.
During the visit, the LLF and IsDB team visited the outskirts of Islamabad Capital Territory and participated in the nationwide vaccination campaign which started on December 16, 2019, during which 39.5 million children under the age of five were vaccinated. The Mission also visited the National Emergency Operations Centre where the National Coordinator, Dr. Rana Muhammad Safdar briefed it on the current Polio situation and the country’s plan to transform the programme during 2020.
Mission highly appreciated the reinvigorated commitment of the Government of Pakistan to take the initiative forward as shared priority across the political divide. It also acknowledged the unprecedented support of the civilian and military law enforcement agencies to the noble cause and expressed confidence that the strong country programme would soon turn the situation around, as it had done previously after the 2014 upsurge.
IsDB and donor partners launched the LLF with a joint vision to raise the poorest out of poverty in IsDB member countries. The LLF is the largest development initiative of its kind in the Middle East and serves 33 IsDB member countries. The LLF donor partners working with the IsDB on this initiative are the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development, the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center and Qatar Fund for Development.
Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme implements high quality vaccination campaigns that reaches children across Pakistan. These campaigns are implemented by more than 265,000 frontline health workers who go door-to-door to make sure that each and every child is administered with the polio vaccine. This protects them from the crippling poliovirus. At the same time, the programme undertakes highly sensitive surveillance, detection and response activities to track and limit virus transmission across the country. Moreover, communication and social mobilization activities which encourage health seeking behaviors amongst communities are implemented.
For more information, please contact:
Name: Mr. Zulfiqar Babakhel – Senior Media Manager Pakistan Polio Programme
Tel: 034 591 659 37