Prime Minister Imran Khan has underscored the importance of equitable, timely, and scaled delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to low-income countries.
In a telephonic conversation with co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates, he commended the Gates Foundation’s strong advocacy to promote equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
The Prime Minister and Bill Gates exchanged views on the latest status of the COVID-19 pandemic, polio eradication campaign, health and development issues, and climate change.
They agreed on the importance of urgently stopping the spread of COVID-19, polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases in Pakistan.
PM Khan reaffirmed that eradication of polio remained a key priority of the government and efforts were underway to intensify the anti-polio campaign across the country despite COVID-19 related challenges.
He affirmed his commitment to strengthening efforts nationwide to achieve a polio-free Pakistan.
The premier expressed appreciation for the work of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for fighting poverty, combating the COVID-19 pandemic and inequalities around the world.
Recalling his recent letter addressed to Gates on climate change, PM Khan apprised Gates about Pakistan’s flagship initiatives, including the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami initiative.
Gates acknowledged Pakistan’s commitment to address climate change and agreed that the world must come together to face this global challenge.
While highlighting that food systems are particularly vulnerable to climate change, he emphasised that global leaders should prioritise investments in agricultural research for adaptation.
He also suggested PM Khan leverage Pakistan’s unique voice to raise awareness and increase global support for smallholder farmers.