• Monday, June 24, 2024
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Africa gets $5bn in five years from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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Bill Gates, founder of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said weekend in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that the foundation had earmarked $5 billion to be spent in Africa in the next five years.

Gates said the spending had become imperative because the Foundation’s biggest priority was health and a lot still needed to be done, saying, “Health remains’ the priority for the work of the foundation in Africa.

“Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is faced with a struggle to bring down the rate of new HIV infections in the world’s poorest continent.”

According to Gates, the Horn of Africa country is one of the biggest recipients of funds from the Foundation, noting that halving the child mortality rate from 1990 to the present, was very fantastic and cheering.

The presence of pneumonia, diarrhoea and other illnesses still leaves far too many children dying, he, however, observed, and noted that much had been achieved on HIV/AIDS and such as an increase in the number of people under treatment for the disease to 12 million globally.

But he noted that two-thirds of new HIV/AIDS infections continued to take place in Africa, as “it is a mixed situation, as stakeholder’s we have a challenge to bring the numbers down.”

The philanthropic organisation formed in 2000 by the world’s richest man has an endowment of more than $40 billion and distributed grants of $4 billion in 2014.

He observed that the slumping commodity prices had posed serious challenges to economic and political stability in some African countries, and had slowed the momentum of poverty reduction.

He said even at the commodity slump, the direction was largely going the right way, saying the infrastructure, education and health investment during the boom years had laid solid foundations. Reuters/NAN