American billionaire philanthropist and co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation Bill Gates announced fresh support for Pakistan’s polio eradication programme on Wednesday.
In a meeting with a Pakistani delegation in Abu Dhabi, he pledged support worth $17 million on behalf of his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Pakistani delegation was led by special assistant to the prime minister on social sector Shahnaz Wazir Ali. Gates was facilitated by Michael Galway, the senior programme officer for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Ali handed over a letter from President Asif Ali Zardari to Gates in context of their recent meeting in the US and briefed him on the newly-launched emergency action plan for polio eradication in Pakistan.
Gates expressed full support for the Pakistani government towards its efforts for polio eradication in particular and enhancing routine immunisation in general.
The Gates’ foundation is one of the most generous supporters to the global polio eradication programme. In Pakistan, the foundation has contributed $100 million to the national polio effort. The foundation also recently provided a grant of $1.3 million as flood relief assistance.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2011.