Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI)

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is a major public-private partnership led by national governments and spearheaded by four organizations: the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and UNICEF.

Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI)

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), launched in 1988 at the 41st World Health Assembly, aims to interrupt transmission of wild poliovirus as quickly as possible, achieve certification of global polio eradication, contribute to health systems development, and strengthen routine immunization and surveillance for other communicable diseases. Each of the spearheading partners has a clearly defined role in the polio eradication effort. WHO, as the lead organization, provides overall strategic planning, technical direction and support, and is responsible for the surveillance and certification process. Rotary International’s primary responsibilities include fundraising, advocacy and volunteer recruitment. The CDC deploys epidemiologists, public health experts and other scientists to WHO and UNICEF for the eradication initiative. It also provides funding for the oral polio vaccine and for a wide range of technical expertise and laboratory support.

UNICEF’s role is to procure and deliver vaccines and support countries in developing and implementing communication and social mobilization strategies. Together with partners, it supports countries in running national immunization days, sub-national immunization days and mop-up campaigns, as well as resource mobilization and advocacy efforts. It also works with the vaccine industry to maintain sufficient supplies of oral polio vaccine. Although not anticipated at the outset, the GPEI gradually evolved into a broad-based global public-private initiative. In recent years, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation joined the four spearheading partners as a leading partner and major funder. The World Bank and donor governments are also major GPEI funders. Other partners include the United Nations Foundation and other private foundations, development banks, the European Commission, humanitarian and non-governmental organizations, corporate partners and volunteers. As of 2011, GPEI has secured $8.2 billion in international investments from various funding sources and has implemented its programs in over 200 countries.


  • World Health Organization (WHO)

    Funding Agencies
    Staff size: 5001-10,000

    WHO (World Health Organisation) is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters,...

  • Rotary International

    United States | Staff size: 501-1000

    Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe,...

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - United States

    Funding Agencies, Institute
    United States | Staff size: 10,000+

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting public health...

  • United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

    United States | Staff size: 10,000+

    UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to protect the rights of every child. UNICEF has spent 70 years working to improve the lives of children and their families. Defending children's...

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF)

    United States | Staff size: 1001-5000
    Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive...
  • World Bank Group

    Funding Agencies
    United States | Staff size: 10,000+

    The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. Their mission is to fight poverty with passion and professionalism for lasting...

  • United Nations Foundation

    United States | Staff size: 101-250

    When disaster strikes, the world turns to one organization for hope, help, leadership, and coordination: the United Nations. When there is peace to keep between warring factions, the world asks...

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Key Information

  • Start Date 1988
ValueUSD 8.2 Billion