By Oluwashina Iyanda
……. explains its approach to fighting poverty, disease, and inequity
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation says it will spend $8.3 billion this year to continue its work fighting poverty, disease, and inequity.
The foundation’s CEO, Mark Suzman, announced this in his annual letter published on Tuesday in Seattle, U.S.A., emailed to The NewsZenith.
Suzman also shared examples of how the foundation uses its resources, voice and convening power to call attention to and help find solutions for problems that otherwise might be neglected.
The budget is a response to multiple crises that threaten to stall or reverse global progress on Sustainable Development Goals.
It is the largest in the foundation’s history,
These include war, economic turmoil, climate-related disasters and large decreases in vaccinations for preventable infectious diseases.
All of these have taken a significant toll on the world’s poorest people.
The board’s approval of the budget puts the foundation on track.
It aims to meet its commitment to reach an annual payout of $9 billion by 2026.
This represents a 15 per cent increase over the 2022 forecasted payout.
“This is the toughest period for global health and development in a recent memo.
“But in some ways, it’s also the reason we exist,” Suzman said.
“To help meet the great needs ahead, we are doubling down on our commitment to our core mission: ensuring everyone can live a healthy and productive life.”
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People in low- and middle-income countries, particularly women and girls, are facing the severe consequences of intersecting global crises.
“Yet, the world has so far failed to step up with the necessary political will and resources to respond,” he said.
In his annual letter, Suzman addressed questions about the scale of the foundation’s influence and its access to global leaders
Using examples from its work on climate adaptation, malaria, and U.S. education, he detailed how the foundation catalyses and advocates for solutions, brings diverse voices to decision-making tables and fills market gaps.
He also discussed the role the foundation plays in setting global health and development priorities.
“The foundation doesn’t set the world’s agenda, we respond to it,” Suzman said, referencing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Highlighting areas where the foundation makes big bets, Suzman reflected on unique role of philanthropic capital in times of crisis.
From improving vaccination rates to advancing women’s economic power, the foundation uses its funds, expertise and relationships.
It also uses its voice to impact lives saved and opportunities created for all to reach their full potential.
It does so by funding innovations that may not be financially attractive or feasible for the private sector or governments.
Thus it is stepping in where markets fail and investing in research and development that would never leave the lab.
“Our role is to ensure that decision-makers have the best possible options to choose from and the best possible data to inform their decisions,” Suzman said.
“And where there’s a solution that can improve livelihoods and save lives, we’ll advocate persistently for it.”
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