March 11, 2022

UkraineRotary statement on the effect of the escalating crisis in Ukraine on polio eradication efforts –

Rotary is deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in Ukraine and the escalating loss of life and humanitarian hardship there, including the unfolding effects of the current crisis in Ukraine on the country’s health system.  A functioning health system must be kept neutral and protected from all political or security issues affecting countries to ensure that people have continued access to critical and essential care.

Rotary and our Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) partners have seen time and again that large-scale population movements, insecurity and hampered access contribute greatly to the emergence and spread of infectious diseases, including polio. Ukraine is currently affected by a circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) outbreak, with the most recent case detected in December 2021. A polio immunization campaign targeting nearly 140,000 unimmunized children throughout Ukraine began on 1 February 2022 but is currently paused, as health authorities have shifted focus towards emergency services. Surveillance to detect and report new cases of polio is also disrupted, increasing the risk of undetected spread of the disease among vulnerable populations.
The GPEI has a long history of working in a variety of complex environments and will continue to adapt its operations to the reality on the ground in Ukraine, to the degree possible, without compromising on the safety and security of health workers.  The GPEI is working to urgently implement contingency plans to support Ukraine and prevent further spread of polio, including vaccination activities targeting children at internally displaced person sites in the border regions of Ukraine, and deploying mobile vaccination teams to reach children along the border.
At the same time, immunization and surveillance efforts will be implemented in neighboring countries, to minimize the risk and consequences of any potential infectious disease emergence or spread resulting from large-scale population movements. Neighboring countries will carry out public health measures to prevent, identify and rapidly respond to signals of polio through enhanced surveillance, reviewing and updating preparedness plans, reviewing and improving immunization coverage at subnational levels and among high-risk groups, ensuring that displaced populations are fully included in any mass vaccination or routine immunization activities.
It is critical that necessary resources are mobilized and made available to assist with humanitarian needs, including relief, disease response, and disease prevention efforts both in Ukraine and in neighboring countries.

All Rotarians are Encouraged to Support the – Disaster Relief Fund – for Ukraine – In response to the deepening humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, The Rotary Foundation has created an official channel for Rotary members around the world to contribute funds to support the relief efforts underway by Rotary Districts and has designated its Disaster Response Fund as the main avenue for contributions.

Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund in support of Ukraine can be made online at Disaster Response Fund | My Rotary. All funds need to be received into the Disaster Response Fund by 30 April, 2022 in order to qualify for use in support of the Ukrainian relief efforts.

  • Now through 30 April, 2022, Rotary districts can transfer unallocated District Designated Funds (DDF) to support the Disaster Response Fund, directly supporting these Ukraine-specific humanitarian grants.
  • During this same period, other impacted Rotary districts that wish to offer support to refugees or other victims of the crisis in their district can apply for $25,000 grants from the Disaster Response Fund.
  • Now through 30 June, 2022, designated Rotary Districts that border Ukraine and the Rotary district in Ukraine may apply for grants of up to $50,000 each from the Disaster Response Fund. These expedited disaster response grants can be used to provide relief to refugees or other victims of the crisis including items such as water, food, shelter, medicine, and clothing.

You can find a more comprehensive announcement with additional details here: The Rotary Foundation creates channel for direct humanitarian support in Ukraine region | Rotary International

By PDG Scott McLaughlin

District Governor 2019-2020
PDG Scott is currently serving as an Assistant Rotary Public Image Coordinator for Zone 29 (Region 36). Scott is a member of the Paul Harris Society and Major Donor.Scott is a Rotarian in the Kearney Dawn Rotary Club of Kearney, NE

Related Articles

Congratulations – World Polio Day!

One new Wild Polio cases reported this week.  We are now 4 weeks since the most recent reported Wild Polio Case - on 10/1/23 in Pakistan. Congratulations! To each of you who led World Polio Day fundraising, advocacy, and education campaigns. To...

read more

What can you do to Support World Polio Day?

No new Wild Polio cases reported this week.  We are now 3 weeks since the most recent reported Wild Polio Case - on 10/1/23 in Pakistan. What can you do to Support World Polio Day? Register your club’s World Polio Day action by 24 October. Share...

read more

European leaders announce new financing partnership

One new Wild Polio cases reported this week.  We are now 2 weeks since the most recent reported Wild Polio Case - on 10/1/23 in Pakistan. What is that Polio Picture? European leaders pledge €500 million to deliver a healthier, polio-free world – In...

read more