EC aid to fight polio [Archives:2005/886/Local News]

October 17 2005

The European Commission has allocated E500,000 in support of an emergency response to a pollo outbreak in Yemen. The aid will help protect the country's four million children less than five years of age. It will be channeled through the European Commission's humanitarian aid department, under the responsibility of Louis Michel, Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid.

Yemen is facing a serious resurgence of polio. By mid-July, the country accounted for nearly 40% of cases of disease reported worldwide. Children, who are a priority in the European Commission's humanitarian policies, are bearing the brunt. Large-scale vaccination is required to tackle this huge problem. In view of the lack of international funding to meet this urgent need, the European Commission has decided to provide E500,000 through an emergency decision.

The funds will allow the Commission's implementing partners,theWorld HEALTH organization(WHO) and UNICEF to continue work already begun in inoculating Yemen's four millions under- fives.