The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced a partnership with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, through which they would be funding the immunization of millions of children in Afghanistan and Pakistan against deadly diseases such as polio, diphtheria, tetanus and others.
Foundation co-chair Bill Gates and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed have each pledged $50 million towards the cause which is expected to result in the immunization of approximately five million children in Afghanistan against six deadly diseases; it will also help the World Health Organization and UNICEF workers reach approximately 35 million children in Afghanistan and Pakistan with oral polio vaccines.
A third of the combined funds will be given to the World Health Organization and UNICEF, to be used for immunizing children in Pakistan and Afghanistan against polio, while the remaining will be directed to the GAVI Alliance for the purchase and delivery of vaccines against pneumonia, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, hepatitis B and meningitis-causing Haemophilus influenzae type B, for Afghan children.
Speaking of the partnership, Bill Gates said that it is a powerful example of how collaboration by the global community can help build a healthier, more stable future for Afghan and Pakistani children, their families and communities.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayad shared the Foundation's deep commitment to the cause and said that the personal, community, national and international benefits that will result from a generation growing up protected from preventable diseases have the potential to resonate for generations to come.
The Gates Foundation has worked with UAE in the past as well when it signed a memorandum of co-operation in 2009 with Dubai Cares - a charitable establishment launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Voce President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Through that partnership, the two entities work together on projects to improve the health and education of children in certain countries in the developing world.