Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged $7 billion to aid Nigeria and other African countries over the next four years. This follows a warning by Bill Gates, the head of the organization that the Ukraine war was reducing the amount of aid flowing into the continent. Compared to the previous four years, the new amount pledged, which is 40% more, will target projects on hunger, disease, poverty, and gender inequality.
The pledge: The international organization stated that Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, will take the biggest share of the fund to improve the social economic state of the country. Russia’s invasion has led to an increase in goods prices globally, impacting aid operations. As a result, lots of funding are being diverted away from humanitarian groups.
In his recent tweet, Bill Gates wrote,
“Africa has always been at the heart of our foundation’s mission. Today, we are announcing our commitment of $7 billion over the next 4 years for the development of more breakthrough innovations in health and agriculture across the continent”
Gates also added that Nigeria has made significant progress in reaching its health goals, including recently eradicating wild polio from the country. According to him, the foundation works with the Nigerian government and other partners to help address a range of health issues, including family planning, nutrition, and strengthening primary health care and public health systems.
“Our foundation will continue to support solutions in health, agriculture, and other critical areas—and the systems to get them out of the labs and to the people who need them,” he said in a statement.
Regional office in Africa: Following a meeting with Kenyan President William Ruto, Gates said on Wednesday that the foundation would establish a regional office in Nairobi. The foundation, in 2021, gave charitable support of $6.7 billion and, last week pledged $1.4 billion to help the world’s smallholder farmers cope with climate change.
The optics: In spite of the distance between Nigeria and Ukraine, the country is not immune to the effects of the war. This is owing to the influence of Russia in the world economy and Nigeria’s dependence on international trade and importation. A look at the rising cost of transportation, food items, and other necessities in Nigeria reveals a continuing rise in the purchasing power of ordinary Nigerians. Expectedly, the Gate’s fund when injected into the economy will help to improve the socio-economic status over the course of the period.
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