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‘Vaccinated almost a billion children, spent $53.8bn’ — Bill, Melinda reflect as Gates Foundation clocks 20

‘Vaccinated almost a billion children, spent $53.8bn’ — Bill, Melinda reflect as Gates Foundation clocks 20
February 10
23:02 2020

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is 20 years old. 

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On Monday, Bill and Melinda Gates share their 2020 annual letter, “Why We Swing for the Fences: Reflecting on the First Two Decades of Our Foundation.”

The letter revealed how the foundation spent $53.8 billion and helped get vaccines to more than 760 million children and prevented 13 million deaths — via the vaccine alliance, Gavi.

“We think going big on Gavi was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made—and we’re thrilled with the return we’ve seen on our investment,” the billionaire couple wrote.

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In this year’s letter, Bill and Melinda reflect on what they’ve learned over the past two decades and how the world – and their work – has changed during that time.

The letter takes inspiration from advice given to them by Warren Buffett: to “swing for the fences” and put the full force of their efforts and resources behind the big bets that have the most potential to save and improve lives.

“At the core of our foundation’s work is the idea that every person deserves the chance to live a healthy and productive life,” Bill and Melinda Gates wrote.

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“Twenty years later, despite how much things have changed, that is still our most important driving principle.”

Bill and Melinda explain why they think the risks they’ve taken in global health and education have set the world up for future progress.

They also write about two areas that have emerged as priorities for them – the climate crisis and gender equality – and how they will factor into their work over the next twenty years.

“There is no question that this new decade is beginning at a time of tremendous unrest and uncertainty around the world,” Bill and Melinda Gates said.

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“But even in a moment as challenging as this one – in fact, especially in a moment like this one – we remain committed to supporting advocates, researchers, government officials, and frontline workers who are making a healthy and productive life possible for more people in more places.”

This includes those who are working tirelessly to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on February 5 committed up to $100 million for the global response to improve detection, isolation and treatment efforts; protect at-risk populations in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia; and accelerate the development of vaccines, drugs and diagnostics.

Bill and Melinda are closely following the outbreak and are committed to contributing to the global response to help bring this epidemic under control.

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You can read the full letter here.

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