Islamabad, Prime Minister Imran Khan held a telephonic conversation with Mr. Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. They exchanged views on the latest status of COVID-19 pandemic, polio eradication campaign, health and development issues, and climate change.
The Prime Minister expressed appreciation for the work of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for fighting poverty, combating COVID-19 pandemic and inequalities around the world.
Recalling his recent letter addressed to Mr. Gates on Climate Change, the Prime Minister apprised Mr. Gates about Pakistan’s flagship initiatives, including the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Initiative.
Mr. Gates acknowledged Pakistan’s commitment to address climate change and agreed that the world must come together to face this global challenge. While highlighting that food systems are particularly vulnerable to climate change, he emphasized that the global leaders should prioritize investments in agricultural research for adaptation. He also suggested Prime Minister Khan to leverage Pakistan’s unique voice to raise awareness for increasing global support for smallholder farmers.
While commending the Gates Foundation’s strong advocacy to promote equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines, the Prime Minister underscored the importance of equitable, timely, and scaled delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to low-income countries.
Prime Minister Imran Khan and Mr. Gates agreed on the importance of urgently stopping the spread of COVID-19, polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases in Pakistan.
The Prime Minister also reaffirmed that eradication of Polio remained a key priority of the government and efforts were underway to intensify the anti-Polio campaign across the country despite COVID-19 related challenges. The Prime Minister affirmed his commitment to strengthening efforts nationwide to achieve a polio-free Pakistan.
Pakistan has a robust partnership with the Gates Foundation, including, inter alia, Gates Foundation’s continued support to the Ehsaas Programme, which helps the most vulnerable segment of Pakistan’s population.
The Prime Minister and Mr. Gates agreed to continue working together on the shared objectives.