ISLAMABAD: Paki­stan and Unicef on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Under­standing (MoU) for procurement of vaccines critical to the Polio Emergency Programme.

According to a statement, the journey to this moment began with the government declaring a state of emergency in 2011 and launching an effort to combat polio. Substantial financial resources were channelled into the Polio Emergency Programme.

During this phase, the government committed $155 million to the cause and, in a testament to global solidarity, secured an additional $100 million in support from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

Secretary of National Health Services Iftikhar Shallwani expressed profound gratitude for this vital financial support.

“The meticulous groundwork is evident as all necessary documentation was successfully completed, and IsDB recently formalised their commitment by signing the Murabaha agreement just two days ago,” he said.

Recognising the urgency of the situation, he made a priority call to Unicef, leading to the signing of the MoU on Wednesday.

The signing ceremony saw the federal secretary and the country representative of Unicef exchange signed documents, cementing their shared vision to eliminate polio.

Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2023

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