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 meeting that serves as a sound gun for the financial world, Gates Notes is one of the most closely read and followed annual reports within the social impact arena. The report shares the line of thinking on issues specially related to Global Development sector with a focus on Poverty, Healthcare, Education, Climate and Gender Equality.
# Poverty & Healthcare
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation spent $53.8 Billion in the last 20 years in giving with a majority share to Global Development (45%) sector. Global health (29%), US Programs (16%), and other charitable programs (10%) are other sectors wherein the foundation is facilitating social change and impact within the sustainable sector. 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, and prevented 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 price of a single dose of vaccine that protects against five deadly diseases came down by more than 72% and yet only 86% of children around the world receive immunizations. The remaining 14% of the population are the most marginalized children in the world. Bill & Melinda Gates foundation played a fundamental role in aiding to kickstart Global Fund, an initiative to imbibe best business practices within the healthcare sector with a focus 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 streams with exceptions in public health, education, and library science. The foundation’s key focus within the education space is in K12 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 in the sustainable agricultural sector to focus on crops that are more drought and flood-resistant. For example, maize and rice are grown in certain parts of Africa and India.
Gender equality remains a thorn globally, less than 40% of women work in managerial positions including in 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 words, Equality can’t wait.