$2.5bn fund: IDB, Gates declare war on poverty

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The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and billionaire entrepreneur Bill Gates plan to set up a $2.5 billion fund for the poor.

The fund will start with $500 million, which would be collected as grants from donors and countries, an IDB statement said.

During a meeting with the IDB, Gates emphasized his organization’s desire to establish a partnership, especially to fight malaria and polio.

Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, gave a presentation on the project during his meeting with the IDB’s board of governors.

Gates also told the media that IDB President Ahmed Mohammed Ali and a host of other partners in the Middle East had been hugely helpful in fighting challenges such as polio and malaria.

“It’s amazing what they’ve (IDB) contributed to global development over the last 40 years and we’re proud to be a partner,” Gates remarked.

He said: “Polio only remains in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria in terms of being rooted there, but there have been outbreaks recently here in the Middle East, in Syria and Iraq. And we’re working to eradicate it with a bunch of great partners from this region.”

He added: “When you look at the picture of children dying across Muslim countries, you find a mixed picture; some countries have made huge gains, but there are others where far too many children are dying, not just from violence that you see most on the news, but often from diseases that we can cure with very little money.”

He said: “That’s a tragedy that we can take positive steps to fix, right now, so my foundations are collaborating with partners across the Middle East to fix these global challenges in health and agriculture, many of which affect the Muslim world particularly.”

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