One of the world’s leading humanitarian organisations, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has announced that it would commit a whopping $8.3 billion to the global war against poverty, hunger, diseases and inequity in 2023.
According to the organisation, this is the largest annual budget ever announced since the Foundation’s formation.
In its annual letter published on Monday, the Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark 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—the largest in the foundation’s history—is a response to multiple crises that threaten to stall or reverse global progress on the Sustainable Development Goals since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. These include war, economic turmoil, climate-related disasters, and large decreases in vaccinations for preventable infectious diseases, all of which have taken a significant toll on the world’s poorest people,” the publication reads in part.
The statement added that by the budget’s approval by its board of trustees, the foundation is on track to meet its commitment to reach an annual payout of US$9 billion by 2026—”and represents a 15 per cent increase over the 2022 forecasted payout.”
“This is the toughest period for global health and development in recent memory, but in some ways, it’s also the reason we exist,” Mr 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,” the statement noted.
Mr Suzman also said people in low- and middle-income countries, particularly women and girls, are currently facing the severe consequences of intersecting global crises, but that the world has so far failed to step up with the necessary political will and resources to respond.
He was said to have addressed questions about the scale of the foundation’s influence and its access to global leaders, detailing how the foundation catalyses and advocates solutions, and bring diverse voices to decision-making tables, and filling market gaps through investments in climate adaptation, malaria and education.
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. (Premium Times)