PM Imran urges Bill Gates to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghan people

Published October 6, 2021
This combination of photos shows Prime Minister Imran Khan (L) and Bill Gates (R). — Reuters/AP
This combination of photos shows Prime Minister Imran Khan (L) and Bill Gates (R). — Reuters/AP

Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates to consider providing humanitarian assistance to poverty-stricken people in Afghanistan.

In a telephonic conversation on Tuesday, the prime minister highlighted that more than half the population in the war-torn country was living below the poverty line and in dire need of financial assistance.

The two leaders shared their concerns regarding the health system in Afghanistan — the only other country in the world that is polio-endemic along with Pakistan, according to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

Expressing their resolve to eradicate the infectious disease from both countries, they discussed the resumption of polio campaigns in Afghanistan to secure Pakistan's recent gains in the elimination of the poliovirus.

**Read more: Pakistan, Afghanistan will enhance cooperation to stop polio transmission

The premier apprised Gates of Pakistan's "continued progress" against polio eradication and appreciated the invaluable assistance provided by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in that regard.

He added that the country had reported only one case of wild poliovirus (WPV) this year and positive WPV environmental samples had decreased substantially.

He stressed that his government remained committed to ending all forms of polio in the country.

Gates praised PM Imran for the progress and pledged his Foundation's continued support to the Pakistan polio programme for ensuring that no child in Pakistan was at risk of paralysis due to poliovirus.

The tech billionaire also congratulated the prime minister for Pakistan's Covid-19 vaccine roll-out and noted the Foundation's support of government-led programmes, including Ehsaas, which was "making impressive progress in reducing stunting, and the digitisation of the National Savings Programme".

He offered his continued collaboration through the Gates Foundation to improve the health and well-being of the people in Pakistan.

The prime minister thanked Gates for his Foundation's valuable partnership with Pakistan.

Opinion

A whiff of hope

A whiff of hope

Despite the old script that has played out in front of us, political events do indicate some changes.

Editorial

Updated 17 May, 2022

Buyer’s remorse

It is strange to hear senior PML-N leaders lamenting the subsidies, yet not even coming up with a subsidy rationalisation plan.
17 May, 2022

Sikh traders’ killing

THE brutal murder of two Sikh traders in the outskirts of Peshawar on Sunday illustrates the vulnerability of...
17 May, 2022

Cholera outbreak

REPORTS of rising cases of cholera and acute watery diarrhoea in several areas are raising the spectre of a public...
Updated 16 May, 2022

Electoral reforms

EARLY elections or not? That is the question. And it seems to be weighing heavy on the mind of everyone in the...
16 May, 2022

Iran deal revival

WHERE the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 is concerned, a great deal of fluidity exists regarding its fate....
16 May, 2022

Deprived of funds

THIS May, Pakistan’s former Fata region will complete its fourth year of merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The...