Mark Suzman, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, recently shared the organisation’s plans to invest US$8.3 billion this year in its ongoing efforts to reduce global poverty, illness, and inequality.
Published in the foundation’s annual letter, Suzman provided instances of how the organisation draws on its resources, voice, and convening power to bring attention to and facilitate solutions for issues that might otherwise go unnoticed.
In light of various problems that threaten to halt or reverse global progress on Sustainable Development Goals since the start of the COVID-19 epidemic, the foundation has allocated the most significant budget in its history to address these issues.
The world’s poor have paid a disproportionately high price for a wide range of calamities, including war, economic instability, climate-related disasters, and a sharp drop in vaccination rates for avoidable infectious diseases.
The CEO claims that the foundation is now on set to fulfil its pledge to reach an annual payout of US$9 billion by 2026, an increase of 15% above the 2022 projected payout.
“This is the toughest period for global health and development in recent memory, but in some ways, it’s also the reason we exist,” Suzman said. “To help meet the great needs ahead, we are doubling down on our commitment to our core mission: ensuring everyone can live a healthy and productive life.
“People in low and middle-income countries, particularly women and girls, are facing the severe consequences of intersecting global crises, yet the world has so far failed to step up with the necessary political will and resources to respond.”
Suzman addressed concerns about the foundation’s reach and access to world leaders in his yearly letter. He discussed how the foundation catalyses and pushes for solutions, brings different perspectives to decision-making tables, and fills market gaps, using the foundation’s work on climate adaptation, malaria, and U.S. education as examples.
He also spoke on the foundation’s influence in determining international health and development policy. Suzman added, “The foundation doesn’t determine the world’s agenda—we respond to it,” about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.