During United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) week, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has been supporting immunization programs in Malawi, has announced commitments totalling $1.27 billion to improve and save millions of lives.
The funding will address overlapping global crises that have reversed the progress already made toward achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals).
The foundation’s sixth annual Goalkeepers Report notes that nearly every indicator of the Global Goals is off track at the halfway point for achieving them by 2030. Despite these challenges, the report highlights opportunities to accelerate progress by investing in long-term solutions and innovative approaches to entrenched issues, including poverty, inequality, and climate change.
“This week has underscored the urgency of the challenges we face, and the promise of sustainable solutions that save and improve lives,” said Mark Suzman, Gates Foundation CEO. “We can get back on track toward the SDGs, but it’s going to take a new level of collaboration and investment from every sector. That’s why our foundation is significantly stepping up our commitment to help confront crises now and ensure long-term impact across critical determinants of health and development.”
The Goalkeepers event convened global leaders and changemakers to discuss current and future efforts to achieve the Global Goals. Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados; Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister of Spain; Bill Gates; Melinda French Gates; more than 300 young changemakers; and other emerging and established leaders from around the world participated in the event.
At the Global Fund Replenishment Conference, governments and the private sector joined together to pledge a record-high level of commitment that will advance the goal of achieving good health and well-being for all. The funding will go toward the Global Fund’s goal of saving 20 million more lives from HIV, TB, and malaria; building more resilient health systems to prevent future pandemics; and putting the world back on track to end these diseases by 2030.
On its part, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced $912 million pledge to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
This is the foundation’s largest commitment yet to the Global Fund. Since 2002, health programs supported by the Global Fund partnership have saved 50 million lives. This funding will help accelerate efforts to end HIV, TB, and malaria by 2030 and build resilient health systems needed to protect against future pandemics. It also will be instrumental in reducing the disproportionate impact of these diseases on women and girls.
“We see the greatest progress when governments, the private sector, and local communities collaborate in global health programs,” said Bill Gates, co-chair. “The commitment this week to combat preventable diseases and save millions more lives through the Global Fund replenishment is a great step forward in getting back on track to reach the Sustainable Development Goals.”
The foundation has also pledged $100 million to help alleviate the food crisis disproportionately impacting communities in Africa and South Asia and address its underlying causes
In addition, the foundation will double its previous commitment to the Child Nutrition Fund—from $10 million to $20 million. Our investment will support the fund’s expansion beyond ready-to-use therapeutic food to include preventative nutrition products for both women and children.
The foundation has further committed $200 million to expand global Digital Public Infrastructure. This funding will help expand infrastructure that low- and middle-income countries can use to become more resilient to crises such as food shortages, public health threats, and climate change, as well as to aid in pandemic and economic recovery. This infrastructure encompasses tools such as interoperable payment systems, digital ID, data-sharing systems, and civil registry databases.