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Tahir Foundation and Gates Foundation Announce Partnership to Advance Global Health

First objective is global initiative to end polio forever

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

JAKARTA (April 25, 2013) – Dato Sri Dr. Tahir, chairman of the Tahir Foundation in Indonesia, and Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, announced today that their foundations are entering into a partnership to improve the lives of the world’s poorest. The partnership commits a total of US$200 million over five years – US$100 million from each partner – toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

The initial focus of their collaboration is support of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s (GPEI) new Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan (2013-2018), designed to achieve a polio-free world by 2018. The comprehensive plan was developed to capitalize on the unprecedented opportunity to eradicate polio and is projected to cost $5.5 billion over six years. The Tahir Foundation is committing US$25 million to help fund the plan. As part of its overall commitment to polio eradication announced today, the Gates Foundation matched the pledge.

Dato Sri Dr. Tahir said: “Ending polio requires extraordinary partnerships between all sectors and global societies. We are thrilled to join the Gates Foundation and other partners in the effort to end this disease once and for all.”

Polio is a vaccine-preventable disease that can lead to paralysis or death. Due to tremendous advances in 2012, today there are the fewest number of polio cases in the fewest countries ever, creating a unique opportunity to end the disease forever. Polio now remains endemic in only three countries – Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria – down from 125 in 1988.

“Working with partners like Dr. Tahir will increase our impact in achieving ambitious global health goals such as delivering a polio-free world,” said Gates. “Dr. Tahir’s generous commitment to support polio eradication demonstrates to the international community how we can come together to solve global challenges.”

Tahir and Gates signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the Global Vaccine Summit held yesterday and today in Abu Dhabi. During the signing, Gates said that Tahir’s commitment to the people of Indonesia and to help the world's poorest communities made the Tahir Foundation a natural partner to achieve their mutual goals of ensuring that people are able to live healthy and productive lives.

The partnership with the Tahir Foundation represents the Gates Foundation’s first major private donor partnership in Indonesia and will expand the focus of its work in Indonesia. Additional areas of the partnership’s focus will be tuberculosis, malaria and HIV and family planning. The foundations agreed to share learnings and seek out opportunities to co-fund projects that will accelerate their mutual goals, as well as to encourage philanthropy from Asia and globally. The Gates Foundation has funded a number of programs in Indonesia, including its Global Libraries program.

Gates, a co-host of the Summit, recognized Tahir in opening remarks at the Summit, noting that Tahir is an important new donor in the fight against polio. Later, in a session about the new polio eradication plan, global leaders joined Gates in announcing their support for the plan, which outlines all the steps needed to achieve eradication by 2018. Tahir’s and Gates’ contributions supplemented a commitment by global leaders and other philanthropists to back the GPEI plan, with a total of $4B toward the plan’s $5.5B budget over six years.
The six-year GPEI plan simultaneously addresses the need to interrupt transmission of the wild poliovirus by the end of 2014, strengthen routine immunization, and lay the groundwork for securing a lasting polio-free world. It is estimated that GPEI could deliver net benefits of US$40-50 billion by 2035.

The Summit, held during World Immunization Week (April 24-30), was organized to continue the momentum of the Decade of Vaccines – a vision and commitment to reach all people with the vaccines they need. Critical to this vision is polio eradication, along with the development of affordable new vaccines and the ability for every country in the world to deliver vaccines to every child.

For media queries, please contact:
Tahir Foundation:
Phone: +65 9697 0007

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation:
Phone: +1 206 709 3400

The Tahir Foundation
The Tahir Foundation aims to help individuals and communities in need, regardless of race, language and religion, particularly in the area of education and healthcare. It is a privately-funded charity of Dr Tahir, founder of Indonesia’s Mayapada group, and his family. The Foundation is an expression of their Christian faith, best expressed through care and compassion for the less privileged. The Foundation works with the education sector, other trusts and charities, and governments, to support education, health and community services in Indonesia, Asia and the rest of the world. In the last two decades, the Foundation has provided scholarships to more than 20 state-funded universities in Indonesia and tens of thousands of computers to poor students

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

About GPEI
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), launched in 1988, is spearheaded by national governments, the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and UNICEF, and supported by key partners including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Since its launch, the incidence of polio has been reduced by more than 99 percent. In 1988, more than 350,000 children were paralyzed each year in more than 125 endemic countries. In 2012, only 223 new cases have been reported, and only three countries remain endemic: Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. For more information, please visit

The GPEI Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018 was developed by WHO, UNICEF, Rotary International and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in broad consultation with countries, donors, vaccine manufacturers, regulatory agencies and national and international advisory bodies. Polio partner organizations, donors and endemic countries are actively working to secure the necessary funds to ensure money is not a barrier to the plan’s success.


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