PM, Bill Gates discuss joint action on COVID-19, polio & climate change


ISLAMABAD, Apr 28  :  Prime Minister Imran Khan and Bill Gates, Co-Chair of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Wednesday discussed matters including COVID-19 response, polio eradication and climate change and agreed to continue working together on the shared objectives.

In a telephonic conversation, both agreed on the importance of urgently stopping the spread of coronavirus, polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases in Pakistan.

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 Bill Gates on climate change, the Prime Minister apprised him about Pakistan’s flagship initiatives including the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami.

Commending the Gates Foundation’s strong advocacy to promote equitable access to COVID-19 vaccine, the prime minister underscored the importance of equitable, timely, and scaled delivery doses to low-income countries.

Imran Khan 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.

He affirmed his commitment to strengthening efforts nationwide to achieve a polio-free Pakistan.

Bill Gates acknowledged Pakistan’s commitment to address climate change and agreed that the world must come together to face this global challenge.

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.

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.