This note shares a brief on the Gate Notes 2020 Annual Letter. The annual letter from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation remains a harbinger of the most critical updates within the global development sector. Akin to the annual Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting that serves as an excellent barometer for happenings within the financial world, Gates Notes is closely read and followed by yearly reports within the social impact arena. The information shares the line of thinking on issues primarily related to the Global Development sector focusing on Poverty, Healthcare, Education, Climate, and Gender Equality.
# Poverty & Healthcare
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spent $53.8 billion in the last 20 years, giving a majority share to the Global Development (45 percent) sector. Global health (29 percent), US Programs (16 percent), and other charitable programs (10 percent) are other sectors wherein the foundation is facilitating social change and impact within the sustainable industry. Out of $53.8 billion, the foundation has invested $1.75 billion in fighting the pandemic. The foundation collaborated with World Health Organization, the World Bank, and UNICEF to create Gavi, the Vaccine alliance. Gavi delivered a measurable impact vaccinated 760 million children, preventing 13 million deaths. One of the most significant contributions of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through Gavi is to commoditize vaccines for social good by bringing down prices of vaccines for the underserved and less privileged people. The cost of a single dose of vaccine that protects against five deadly diseases came down by more than 72 percent, yet only 86 percent of children worldwide receive immunizations. The remaining 14 percent of the population are the most marginalized children globally. Bill & Melinda Gates foundation played a fundamental role in aiding kickstart Global Fund, an initiative to imbibe best business practices within the healthcare sector to best fight AIDS, TB, and malaria.
Equitable education remains one of the foremost policy issues in the US. Through Gates Millennium Scholars Program, the foundation has provided full college scholarships to 20,000 students of color. Every year, 1000 scholars are selected under the New Gates Millennium Scholars initiative, and a total of $1.2 billion scholarships were awarded from 2000 to 2018. Established in 1999, the program targets outstanding African American, American Indian/Alaska Native*, Asian Pacific Islander American**, and Hispanic American students to complete undergraduate degree courses across any discipline. There is a provision for outstanding scholars to continue degree programs in graduate studies predominantly in science and engineering, with exceptions in public health, education, and library science. The foundation’s key focus within the education space is in K-12 and post-secondary education.
#Climate & Gender
Climate & Gender Equality remains one of the most vocal discussions globally, with various countries gunning for carbon neutrality. US President Joe Biden recently again joined the Paris agreement and plans to meet the net-zero emissions goal by 2050, matching EU steps. China plans to reach the goal of net-zero emissions by 2060. Bill Gates co-chaired The Global Commission on Adaptation, outlining steps that government can take to support farmers. One of the focuses is on the sustainable agricultural sector to focus on more drought and flood-resistant crops. For example, maize and rice are grown in Africa and India. Gender equality remains a thorn globally; less than 40 percent of women work in managerial positions, including advanced countries. Melinda Gates is working on this issue through her venture, Pivotal Venture, dedicating $1 billion over the next decade to enhance gender parity.
Ending in Melinda’s words, Equality can’t wait.