Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s meets with Bill Gates

Shehbaz Sharif

ISLAMABAD, JUN 24: /DNA/ – Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif received Mr. Bill Gates, the chair of the Gates Foundation in the Prime Minister’s House today. The visit was undertaken at the invitation of the Prime Minister that he extended during his meeting with Mr. Gates in Riyadh on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.

Welcoming Mr. Gates on his visit to Pakistan, the Prime Minister updated him about the government’s efforts to achieve economic stability and key advances in digital financial services, increased health coverage, climate change adaptation and efforts to eradicate Polio.

The Prime Minister deeply appreciated Gates Foundation’s valuable support for Government’s initiatives to digitize the economy. A digitized eco-system of the entire government structure will result in enhanced revenues that will help improve governance and the Government would be able to spend more on public welfare schemes, he added.

Mr. Shehbaz Sharif underlined that both the Government of Pakistan and Gates Foundation share many goals including closing the gender gap, increasing health coverage, improving food security, climate change adaptation, and financial inclusion. The Prime Minister updated Mr. Gates about key metrics of the progress made and the challenges faced in these areas.

Thanking Gates Foundation for being the largest donor for the polio eradication programme, the Prime Minister outlined a robust and focused strategy to counter threats of increased wild poliovirus infections and the actions needed to overcome the challenge to completely wipe out the disease in Pakistan. He reiterated the firm commitment to eradicate polio as it remains the highest priority for the government and emphasized that all resources of the State shall be employed to provide security to our polio workers. I will personally monitor national efforts until the crippling disease is wiped-out from our soil, Shehbaz Sharif emphasized.

Mr. Gates thanked the Prime Minister for his continued dedication and personal interest in eradicating wild polio from the country. He also expressed his confidence that with a sustained vaccination campaign and firm commitment of the Government, polio eradication drive would get back on track to end polio following the recent surge in environmental detections.

Mr. Gates also underscored how Pakistan’s deployment of data science tools and digital technology are important resources to continue to improve the lives of Pakistanis across the country.

Both sides agreed to continue working together to not only eradicate polio, but to strengthen health systems across the provinces, and to ensure prosperity for all Pakistanis, especially women and girls.