NEW YORK: Prime Minister Imran Khan and Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, witness the signing of an MoU in support of the government’s Ehsaas Initiative for poverty alleviation.—PPI
NEW YORK: Prime Minister Imran Khan and Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, witness the signing of an MoU in support of the government’s Ehsaas Initiative for poverty alleviation.—PPI

NEW YORK: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Pakistan for its Ehsaas initiative on poverty alleviation.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Bill Gates, co-chair of the B&MGF, witnessed the signing ceremony as Special Assistant to PM on Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar and president of Global Development at B&MGF Dr Chris Elias inked the MoU here on Wednesday.

The B&MGF will assist the Pakistan government with a range of activities, including accelerating stunting reduction programmes, supporting financial inclusion initiatives and investing in public health systems to improve health and reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality. The foundation plans to spend about $200 million in Pakistan in 2020.

Imran-Gates meeting discusses ways of collaboration between the donor and Ehsaas initiative

Earlier, the meeting between Prime Minister Khan and Bill Gates and Chris Elias focused on Ehsaas and finding ways of its collaboration with B&MGF on funding, technical assistance, and help of global experts in improving health, nutrition and financial inclusion in Pakistan.

Mr Khan said that Ehsaas aimed at providing effective safety nets through 134 new poverty-focused policy actions and programmes, was the largest anti-poverty project ever launched in the country.

He said since assuming office, he had set out an ambitious plan to alleviate poverty and improve health and education for the most vulnerable people.

Mr Khan expressed commitment to take steps to end polio in the country.

Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations Dr Maleeha Lodhi, Adviser to the PM on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood attended the meeting.

The new collaboration of the government with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is in continuation of the Foundation’s more than decade-long work in Pakistan.

The earlier programmes have covered a range of shared development priorities, including polio eradication, financial inclusion, routine immunisation and maternal, neo-natal and child health.

Published in Dawn, September 27th, 2019