Saudi Arabia supports polio eradication in Niger

December 17, 2011

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported yesterday that Saudi Arabia has donated $1.59 million to UNICEF Niger in order to support polio eradication in the African country. The funds will be used to purchase Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) and will allow Niger’s government and its partners to immunize 3.77 million children, reported Guido Cornale, UNICEF’s representative in Niger. “The generous funding of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be instrumental to ensure a steady supply of OPV for immunization campaigns in Niger,” he stated. “This will allow the government of Niger, with the support of the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and other partners, to reinforce immunization activities at a particularly critical time.”

The Kingdom’s donation to Niger is part of a total contribution of $10 million to UNICEF in 2011 for the purchase of OPV for seven countries – Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. UNICEF reported that the Saudi funds have supported the immunization of 33 million children under the age of five across the Middle East, the Horn of Africa, and West Africa.