DURING the United Nations General Assembly week, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—alongside governments, philanthropies, the private sector, NGOs, and global and community leaders—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.”
Today’s 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.
“The last time we gathered in person for Goalkeepers, we talked about how the most well- intentioned programs can perpetuate inequities if the communities they want to reach aren’t involved in the design,” said Co-chair Melinda French Gates.
“A lot has changed since 2019, but one thing hasn’t: We won’t make progress toward the Global Goals unless those with lived experiences have a seat at the table. I’m proud of our Goalkeepers Award winners and the many partners from all corners of the world who are working to develop this next generation of leaders.”
Also today, 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. Today’s pledge includes the foundation’s largest commitment yet to the Global Fund of $912 million.
“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.”
Accelerating Progress Toward Global Goals
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced the following commitments this week:
$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.
$100 million to help alleviate the food crisis disproportionately impacting communities in Africa and South Asia and address its underlying causes
This funding will go to:
· The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) to support national governments in rebuilding resilient, sustainable local food systems
· The African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) to make fertilizers affordable and accessible for smallholder farmers
· The CGIAR’s Nigeria-based International Institute of Tropical Agriculture research center to accelerate work that is already supplying farmers with improved and new varieties of crops, such as beans high in iron; sweet potatoes naturally rich in vitamin A; and naturally hardy cassava, millet, and sorghum
· Working with partners to supply sustainable feed and fodder to African families that depend on livestock as a critical source of income and nutrient-dense food
· Working with partners to strengthen local food systems by empowering women farmers with the tools and resources they need to succeed and support their communities
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.
$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.
$50 million to Partners in Health Scholarship Fund to attend the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) in Rwanda
This commitment will help catalyze efforts to raise $200 million. The scholarship fund will support students, 75% of whom are women, to attend UGHE and help accelerate efforts to increase the number of health care workers in Rwanda and around the world.
Celebrating Global Goalkeepers
In recognition of the remarkable work of world leaders to advance the Global Goals, the foundation also announced the winners of its 2022 Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards on September 20.
· Progress Award – Dr. Radhika Batra, co-founder of the nonprofit organization Every Infant Matters, which provides last-mile health solutions to disadvantaged children in India
· Changemaker Award – Zahra Joya, a journalist from Afghanistan who founded and self- funded Rukhshana Media, an online news agency focused exclusively on covering issues that affect the women of Afghanistan
· Campaign Award – Vanessa Nakate, a climate justice activist from Uganda and founder of the Africa-based Rise Up Movement and the Green Schools Project
· Global Goalkeeper Award – Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission