PM, Bill Gates discuss next steps on Covid-19 response, polio eradication

Premier also apprises of Pakistan’s flagship climate change initiatives, including 10 billion tree tsunami project


Our Correspondent April 28, 2021

ISLAMABAD:

Prime Minister Imran Khan held a telephonic conversation with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates on Wednesday, the two exchanged views on the raging Covid-19 pandemic, polio eradication campaign, health and development issues as well as climate change.

Recalling his recent letter addressed to the American business mogul on climate change, the prime minister apprised him of Pakistan’s flagship initiatives, including the 10 billion tree tsunami initiative.

Gates acknowledged Pakistan’s commitment to addressing 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 emphasised that global leaders should prioritise investments in agricultural research for adaptation.

He also suggested PM Khan leverage Pakistan’s unique voice to raise awareness for increasing global support for smallholder farmers.

The prime minister expressed appreciation for the work of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for fighting poverty, including combating the Covid-19 pandemic and inequalities around the world.

Commending the Gates Foundation's strong advocacy to promote equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines, the PM underscored the importance of equitable, timely and scaled delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to low-income countries.

PM Imran Khan and Gates also agreed on the importance of urgently stopping the spread of Covid-19, polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases in Pakistan.

Read More Polio eradication vital for Pakistan’s positive image, says PM Imran

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.

Pakistan's robust partnership with the Gates Foundation was also acknowledged including the foundation's continued support to the Ehsaas Programme, which helps the most vulnerable segment of Pakistan’s population.

The premier and Bill Gates agreed to continue working together on shared objectives.

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