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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, EIB Partner To Strengthen Health Systems And Prevent Infectious Diseases

Meeting in London today, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), announced a strengthened partnership that will boost investment in human development.

The partnership will aim to improve health, nutrition and sanitation in low- and middle-income countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The partnership will also support developing countries in adapting agriculture to climate change and enhancing financial inclusion and gender equality.

President Hoyer and Bill Gates agreed to focus on strengthening health systems and primary healthcare, increasing the prevention of polio and other infectious diseases, and promoting research and development in the health sector. The two parties will also continue to support the manufacturing, procurement and delivery of treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, malaria, HIV, tuberculosis and other diseases.

EIB President Werner Hoyer said: "Ensuring that everyone in the world has access to safe and affordable healthcare, basic services, and tools and resources to adapt to a changing climate, is a moral imperative and a priority for the European Union. I am very pleased to step up our collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Working together is the only way to tackle global challenges."

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said: "We all need to make strong commitments to sustainable development in lower- and middle-income countries. Our partnership with the EIB will create high-impact development financing and programming to help more people access financial tools, adapt to climate change and live healthier lives."

Melinda French Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said: "This commitment will build on our years of successful collaboration to support the dedicated people working on the front lines in Africa, Asia and around the world. When all people have the opportunity and tools to exercise power over their lives, our world becomes a more equal, healthy and hopeful place."

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the EIB have previously collaborated, together with the European Commission, on the African Health Diagnostic Platform and the European Health Platform. Both platforms were set up to improve access to laboratory, vaccine and diagnostic services for low-income populations in Africa and EU neighbouring countries.

The EIB and the Foundation are both contributing to the EU Malaria Fund, which aims to fund projects to prevent and treat malaria. The fund blends investment from the European Union, the EIB, Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other European national and private actors.

Both partners are also supporting COVAX, the global initiative to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines around the world.

Background information

About the EIB

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the European Union's bank owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy objectives and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Europe and beyond. Over the last ten years, the EIB has invested more than €70 billion outside the European Union.

Through its work, the EIB contributes to reducing healthcare inequalities and social exclusion, particularly by supporting underserved or sparsely populated regions. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the EIB Group supported projects with the goal of halting the spread of the coronavirus, finding a cure and developing a vaccine. More than 780 million people around the world will benefit from the healthcare investments made in 2021.

Launched in January 2022, EIB Global is the EIB Group's specialised arm dedicated to increasing the impact of international partnerships and development finance. EIB Global is designed to foster strong, focused partnership within Team Europe, alongside fellow development finance institutions and civil society. EIB Global brings the Group closer to local people, companies and institutions through our offices across the world.

Story first published: Saturday, July 16, 2022, 14:30 [IST]
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