Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gates and Gulf Prince grant money for child vaccines

$100 million dollars has been pledged from two of the world's richest men to provide vaccines. Children in Pakistan and Afghanistan will receive vaccines with the grant money supplied by Bill Gates and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. The money pledged will buy and distribute vaccines for polio, pneumonia, and other childhood diseases.

From Reuters, writer Reed Stevenson has more on the announcement.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan will each give $50 million to provide vaccinations for five common but deadly childhood diseases, as well as pneumonia, to 5 million children in Afghanistan.

A third of the funds will be used to get the polio vaccine to as many as 35 million children in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"It's a milestone," Gates, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft Corp, said in an interview. "We haven't had a joint thing like this in the region."

Gates said the initiative would take advantage of the United Arab Emirates' familiarity with delivering aid to two countries hit by violence and natural disasters. One in four Afghan children dies before their fifth birthday.

"There is no reason why the challenges facing the people of Afghanistan should be compounded by the devastating impact of preventable diseases, and particularly those affecting children," Sheikh Mohammed said in an emailed statement.

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