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Updated January 15th, 2024 at 10:50 IST

Gates Foundation allocates $8.6 bn for 2024 amid global health budget decline

Gates Foundation, despite criticism, pushes forward with plans for a $9 billion annual expenditure by 2026 in global health funding.

Business Desk
Representative
Representative | Image:Pixabay
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Record 2024 allocation: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is set to allocate $8.6 billion in 2024, a 4 per cent increase from the previous year and $2 billion more than in 2021. This decision comes amid a global decline in health budgets and a slowdown in contributions to healthcare for the world's poorest nations in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The foundation, led by technology billionaire Bill Gates and his former wife Melinda, who still collaborates with him, has been a prominent player in global health funding, though criticism has been directed at its perceived undue influence. Despite this, CEO Mark Suzman emphasised that the foundation cannot step back until others increase their commitments, with plans to reach an annual expenditure of $9 billion by 2026.

Integrated health perspective

Bill Gates stressed the inseparability of discussions about the future of humanity from those about the future of health. The foundation, established in 2000, has traditionally focused on healthcare innovation, and the increased funding aims to provide broader access to cutting-edge technologies for the most vulnerable populations globally.

While the foundation temporarily shifted its focus to COVID-19 during the pandemic, 2024 will see a return to its primary areas of concern: addressing broader infectious disease threats and combating the leading causes of child mortality. Gates expressed concern over the preventable deaths of mothers and babies due to their geographical location, describing it as a persistent worry.

Gates and other foundation executives plan to carry backpacks at the World Economic Forum event in Davos, Switzerland. These products range from vaccine patches to an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled ultrasound tool. Additionally, Gates will discuss the broader applications of AI in healthcare during the event.

(With Reuters Inputs)

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Published January 15th, 2024 at 10:50 IST

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