ABU DHABI // In a video message to the Middle East, Bill Gates singled out his foundation’s partnership with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed as instrumental in the fight against polio.
In a nearly seven-minute video clip released alongside the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s annual letter on Tuesday, Mr Gates said Sheikh Mohammed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, had been very generous while cooperating with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on vaccinating against and eradicating polio.
“In fact, he [Sheikh Mohammed] has used his unique relationship with a lot of the key countries, including Pakistan, to help make our work there very, very successful,” said Mr Gates, who co-chairs the foundation with his wife.
His comments came during a nearly 7-minute video clip where he spoke of the future of the Middle East and his optimism for it, and the progress and successful partnerships the Gates Foundation has had in the region.
Sheikh Mohammed’s and Bill Gates began working together in 2011 when they announced they would provide life-saving vaccinations to children in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The partnership committed a total of US$100 million – US$50 million from each partner – for the purchase and delivery of the vaccines.
The UAE has provided more than 116 million polio vaccines to Pakistani children under five years old since 2014 as part of the its pledge to provide Dh440 million to support global efforts towards eradicating polio by 2018, with a focus on Pakistan, which has one of the world’s highest rates of polio infection.