ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan held a telephonic conversation with Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, on Wednesday.
They exchanged views on the latest status of the COVID-19 pandemic, polio eradication campaign, health and development issues, and climate change, according to a statement.
Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed appreciation for the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for fighting poverty, combating the COVID-19 pandemic and inequalities around the world. Recalling his recent letter addressed to the Microsoft co-founder on Climate Change, he apprised Mr. Gates about Pakistan’s flagship initiatives, including the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Initiative.
Mr. Gates acknowledged Pakistan’s commitment to addressing climate change and agreed that the world must come together to face this global challenge. While highlighting that food systems are particularly vulnerable to climate change, he emphasized that global leaders should prioritize investments in agricultural research for adaptation.
He also suggested Prime Minister Imran Khan leverage Pakistan’s unique voice to raise awareness for increasing global support for smallholder farmers. While commending the Gates Foundation’s strong advocacy to promote equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines, the prime minister underscored the importance of equitable, timely, and scaled delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to low-income countries.
They agreed on the importance of urgently stopping the spread of COVID-19, polio, and other vaccine-preventable diseases in Pakistan.
The premier 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 reiterated his commitment to strengthening efforts nationwide to achieve a polio-free Pakistan.