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October 17, 2013

NIGERIAN BUSINESSMAN DONATES $1 MILLION TO POLIO ERADICATION

At the Rotary International Convention in Lisbon, Nigerian business leader and philanthropist Sir Emeka Offor announced a $1 million gift to Rotary’s PolioPlus program. This contribution will provide funding and support for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in the continued fight to eradicate polio.

Offor’s generous gift is the first million-dollar gift received toward a newly-extended fundraising partnership between Rotary and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This collaboration – dubbed End Polio Now – Make History Today -- could generate up to $525 million towards polio eradication efforts over the next five years. Through the agreement, the Gates Foundation will match 2 for 1 every dollar Rotary commits up to $35 million per year to polio eradication through 2018. Thus, Offor’s gift generates $3 million for the eradication effort.

This is Offor’s second major contribution to Rotary’s polio eradication effort. In celebration of World Polio Day on October 24, 2012, Offor set a strong example for others in Nigeria’s private sector with his $250,000 gift to Rotary’s PolioPlus program.

Offor has contributed a combined total of more than $2.1 million to Rotary in support of the organization’s global humanitarian and educational programs. His gifts make him the largest contributor from Africa in Rotary’s 108 year history.

In February 2013, Sir Offor contributed $250,000 in support of Rotary initiatives to enhance maternal and child health and another $250,000 for education and literacy projects.

In October 2012, Offor contributed $250,000 in support of Rotary’s peace and conflict resolution studies. The gift provides support for students from Nigeria and other African countries who attend the Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. The Center offers a three-month professional development certificate in peace and conflict studies to approximately fifty peace fellows annually. Five other Rotary Peace Centers throughout the world offer master’s degree programs. 

Read an interview with Offor on the Rotary Voices blog.
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