What is Bill Gates' source of income
Gates at Merkel: "We have to learn the lessons from Ebola"
During his visit to Berlin, Bill Gates accuses Germany and other western countries of reacting too late in the fight against Ebola. The multi-billionaire is demanding more money from Chancellor Angela Merkel for vaccines.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates criticizes the international community in its fight against Ebola. Like other Western countries, Germany reacted too late to the outbreak of the epidemic. “We should learn the lessons from the past few months. The Ebola epidemic and the death of many people could have been prevented had the international community intervened earlier, ”Gates warned on Tuesday after a meeting with the Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.
However, Gates sees a U-turn in the fight against Ebola: aid organizations and Western states have successfully pooled their forces and made progress. “We're finally seeing results. We can put an end to the epidemic, ”prophesied Gates.
In the future, western governments would have to promote research into vaccines and set up early warning systems in developing countries. This is the only way to nip a possibly even more severe epidemic in the bud at an early stage. The spread of Ebola is an example that the fight against Ebola does not only benefit developing countries, "because health crises can reach global proportions almost overnight".
In an interview with Merkel, Gates also asked for funding for vaccines to be increased. The Chancellor is the patron of a donor conference of the vaccination alliance GAVI in Berlin at the end of January 2015. The public-private partnership is co-initiated by Bill Gates and his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The GAVI Alliance aims to improve access to vaccinations against preventable life-threatening diseases. The idea: By bundling demand and negotiating low prices with the pharmaceutical industry, GAVI wants to supply developing countries with vaccines on a massive scale. Since it was founded in 2000, GAVI has vaccinated around 440 million children in poor countries.
But to vaccinate 300 million more children by 2020 and thus save six million children's lives, GAVI needs 7.5 billion US dollars. At the “replenishment conference” in Berlin, funding for the years 2016 to 2020 is to be secured.
Gates: "Germany has to be a pioneer"
As a host, Germany must set a good example, said Gates: "Germany's economic strength, its technological know-how and its global influence make it possible to influence other countries to do good." The major nations would have to "make substantial financial commitments in January." do, ”says Gates.
The development organization ONE and other NGOs are calling on the federal government to increase their commitments for GAVI to 100 million euros annually. That is only appropriate to the country's economic strength. ONE has the actress as its ambassador Maria Furtwängler won: “Every year 1.5 million children in poor countries die of diseases that can be prevented by vaccination. It shouldn't be that the place where you live decides whether your own children can grow up healthy, ”said Furtwängler
Federal Development Minister Gerd Müller The ONE demand for a meeting with Gates was only slightly accommodated: He wanted to increase the funds to 40 million euros annually by 2020 - provided the Bundestag agrees. This year, a budget of 38 million euros has been earmarked for supporting the initiative. In 2013 the federal government made available 30 million euros.
In the 2011-2015 funding period, the Gates Foundation and the UK proved to be the largest donors. Germany only ranks 11th.
“Doctors Without Borders” calls for GAVI reform
But the GAVI conference in Berlin shouldn't be about money alone, explains the Germany section of “Doctors Without Borders”.
“We welcome Mr. Müller's commitment to provide more money for GAVI. But more financial resources alone are not enough, ”warns Philipp Frisch from “Doctors Without Borders” to EURACTIV.de. The development minister now has to initiate reforms within GAVI so that the existing money can be used even more effectively.
According to Frisch, for example, the alliance must ensure that countries still have access to discounted vaccines, even if, according to GAVI, they are actually no longer entitled to them - namely when they move up to so-called middle-income countries. In these countries, the need for affordable vaccinations is still very high, says Frisch.
In conflict countries like Syria, too, it is important for organizations like “Doctors Without Borders” to have access to the low Gavi prices in order to give as many children as possible quick access to vaccinations in acute crises.
“Doctors Without Borders” also refers to a common problem for NGOs in public-private partnerships: “At the moment, civil society is not given sufficient consideration in the GAVI alliance. We have to have a greater say - if only to create a noticeable counterbalance to the pharmaceutical industry, ”Frisch continued.
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