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Rotary International and UNICEF: Partnering to End Polio

Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.4 million business, professional, and community leaders. Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. 

UNICEF and Rotary are working together in the fight to end polio forever. Since UNICEF and Rotary began their partnership in 1988, both organizations, as members of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, have played a fundamental role in dramatically decreasing the number of polio endemic countries. In 1988, there were an estimated 350,000 cases of paralytic polio and the disease was endemic in 125 countries. Today, wild poliovirus is only found in two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

Rotary helps fund critical elements of UNICEF’s polio eradication programs, such as national immunization days, polio vaccine delivery and health worker training. Rotary’s network of volunteers in more than 200 countries and regions has also worked with UNICEF in the field to ensure that even the hardest-to-reach children are immunized.

UNICEF and Rotary International have also partnered to deliver urgent aid to Sri Lanka, focusing on children, families and communities most in need as a result of the country's current economic crisis.  

Learn more — and help give Sri Lanka a lifeline.

Local Rotary Clubs

There are 35,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious and open to all cultures, races and creeds. As signified by the motto Service Above Self, Rotary’s main objective is service—in the community, in the workplace and throughout the world.

Learn more about how UNICEF and civil society groups work together to create better futures for children.


Top photo: A boy in Pakistan receives the oral polio vaccine. Immunization is key to ending polio globally. © UNICEF/UNI103541/Zaidi