By Staff writer
Philanthropist says Middle East youth will surprise people with positive results
Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates expects the youth in the Middle East to surprise the world with the next innovation despite instability and regional challenges.
In the “Bill and Melinda Gates’ 2017 Annual Letter” released this week, Gates praised his partners in the region for providing the youth with the “very best tools” to work that will enable new innovations from new drugs and vaccines to genetics.
“It is great to see the partners reaching out to youth and making sure they are using the very best tools, and that is why I think despite the challenges of instability and other regional problems, I do think the Middle East – both economically and in terms of contributing to innovation in the world – will surprise people with the positive results,” he said.
Admiring the Middle East for its “incredible generosity”, Gates said the foundation has partnerships both with governments and with individuals who want to help the poorest.
“So there is a huge opportunity to find ways to make sure those dollars are highly effective. One example of this is the relationship we’ve had with the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Zayed has been very generous on vaccination and polio eradication work.
“In fact, he has used his unique relationship with a lot of the key countries, including Pakistan, to help make our work there very very successful,” he said.
Gates said the foundation’s biggest single effort has been supported by a number of the governments through the Islamic Development Bank - called the “Lives and Livelihoods Fund”.
“This is one hundred million of our money and then it will be four hundred million from other donors to take and pay down loans, to be able to provide lots of money for the Muslim countries for health and agriculture and infrastructure.
“Having not only the resources but the help and alliances with our key partners in the Middle East makes a huge difference, so we will continue that and we will expect that’s something that will continue to grow,” he added.