ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation co-chairman Bill Gates on Wednesday discussed various subjects including Covid-19 response, polio eradication, and climate change, and agreed to continue working together on the shared objectives. In a telephonic conversation, the two agreed on the importance of urgently stopping the spread of coronavirus, polio, and other diseases in Pakistan.
Imran expressed appreciation for the work being done by the foundation for fighting poverty, combating the Covid-19 pandemic, and inequalities around the world. Commending the foundation’s strong advocacy to promote equitable access to the Covid-19 vaccine, Imran underscored the importance of equitable, timely, and scaled delivery doses to low-income countries.
Imran 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.
He affirmed his commitment to strengthening efforts nationwide to achieve a polio-free Pakistan. Gates acknowledged Pakistan’s commitment to addressing climate change and agreed that the world must come together to face this global challenge.
Highlighting that food systems are particularly vulnerable to climate change, he emphasized that global leaders should prioritise investments in agricultural research for adaptation.
He also suggested Prime Minister Khan to leverage his country’s unique voice to raise awareness for increasing global support for smallholder farmers. Pakistan has a robust partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, including, inter alia, the foundation’s continued support to the Ehsaas programme, which helps the most vulnerable segment of the population.