By Claire Valdini
Microsoft founder and Aman Foundation pledge $10m to Pakistan healthcare
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has signed a five-year deal with the Aman Foundation to improve family planning and healthcare in Pakistan, its second agreement during the Microsoft founder’s trip to the UAE.
The Aman Foundation, chaired by the Dubai businessman Arif Naqvi, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation both pledged to invest US$5m each to meet the gap in reproductive health and family planning services in Pakistan.
More than 200m women in the developing world who do not want to get pregnant cannot get reliable access to contraception, information and services, which lead to complications in pregnancy and childbirth, the charities said in a joint statement.
The maternal mortality rate in Pakistan is currently 276 per 100,000, and infant mortality at birth stands at 62 deaths per 1000 live births, they added.
“This is a significant co-investment partnership for our foundation which leverages Aman’s on-the-ground knowledge in family planning and maternal and child health in Pakistan. It is also an example of the kind of smart partnerships that hold huge promise for the future,” Gates said in a statement.
The tie-up marks the second in the UAE in less than a week for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation signed an agreement estimated to be valued at US$277m with Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Development Bank as part of its aim to eradicate polio.
Earlier in the week Gates, who gave a keynote speech Abu Dhabi Media Summit, praised the positive impact the Middle East can play in helping to eradicate diseases and improving the lives of the poor.
“This region can play a pivotal role in improving the lives of the poor. The leaders and citizens here can reach out as partners to countries where they have special access and special kinship - areas where the rest of the world doesn’t have the standing to intervene in the way that leaders here can do,” he said.