News and analysis
April 25, 2013

Foundations Commit More Than $2-Billion to End Polio

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

A child in Nigeria receives an oral polio vaccine.

Michael Bloomberg, Ray Dalio, Carl Icahn, and Carlos Slim are among the billionaire philanthropists joining Bill and Melinda Gates in a new push to eradicate polio.

Their four foundations, along with three other philanthropies new to the anti-polio cause, today pledged a total of $335-million over six years. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has for years made ending polio a key part of its mission, pledged $1.7-billion in new money.

The announcements were made at the Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi. The pledges will support the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a 15-year-old effort led by national governments, Rotary International, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Unicef, and the World Health Organization.

International Support

The new pledges come as polio eradication has faced obstacles including the recent killings of health workers conducting vaccination campaigns in Nigeria and Pakistan.

The new commitments from private philanthropies include:

• $100-million from Bloomberg Philanthropies, started by Mr. Bloomberg, New York’s mayor.

• $100-million from the Carlos Slim Foundation, created by the Mexican businessman.

• $50-million from the Dalio Foundation, created by the founder of Bridgewater Associates.

• $30-million from the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation, which was started by Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud, a businessman.

• $25-million from the Tahir Foundation, which was created by the family of Tahir, an Indonesian businessman (who goes by only one name) and founder of the Mayapada Group.

• $20-million from the Foundation for a Greater Opportunity, started by Mr. Icahn, an investor.

• $10-million from the Albert L. Ueltschi Foundation, started by the late founder of FlightSafety International.

Send an e-mail to Caroline Preston.