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February 28, 2013

Bloomberg Gives $100-Million to Gates-Led Polio Campaign

Michael Bloomberg is to announce on Thursday a $100-million donation to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, boosting efforts led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to raise billions of dollars in a push to wipe out the disease, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The billionaire New York mayor, who is expected to step up his private philanthropy after he leaves office at the end of the year, called the contribution a "no brainer" as the 25-year-old anti-polio effort, known as GPEI, nears its goal of ending the disease. Once globally endemic, polio is now endemic in three countries, Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan.

The six-year donation from Bloomberg Philanthropies is the largest to GPEI from an individual or charity outside of contributions from the Gates foundation. Bill Gates is spearheading a campaign to raise $5.5 billion from private sources and governments for an "endgame strategic plan" to eradicate the polio virus by 2018.