"While we applaud the progress in India, we also see that where conflict rages and health systems are destroyed we see the return of polio. Syria is the most striking example," said Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, and Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Development, in a joint statement.

"In order to eradicate polio, we need functioning immunization and sustainable health systems. That's why the European Commission already substantially supports the health sector in partner countries. On average half a billion euros goes to health each year," the statement said.

It stressed that the EU is firmly committed to the eradication of polio.

The European Commission alone has made large contributions in the past, with as much as 170 million euro spent on polio eradication programmes in partner countries since the year 2000. So in the future, as in the past, the European Union will be a key ally in the global effort for immunization, it added.


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