Gates Foundation Urges UN To Solve Global Hunger, Honors Goalkeepers
Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates combined characteristic optimism with sobering questions about persistent gender inequality and hunger at an event focused on reaching global development goals that the Gates’ foundation convened at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Thalia Beaty reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Photo Insert: The Goalkeepers events are meant to draw attention to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to poverty, hunger, equity, health, education, and climate change mitigation.
Bill Gates again made the case for investments in agricultural technologies — like modified seeds that are drought resistant — to address food insecurity. But the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation also announced Wednesday a $100 million donation meant to respond to hunger and malnutrition more quickly.
The donation will fund projects like a private sector partnership to subsidize fertilizer for African farmers, as well as other initiatives.
French Gates lamented the slow movement toward gender equality in a speech, asking, “How can we go about changing the face of power in our institutions, in our communities, and, yes, in our families?”
The annual Goalkeepers events at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York took place for the first time in person since before the start of the coronavirus pandemic. They are meant to draw attention to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to poverty, hunger, equity, health, education, and climate change mitigation.
Progress toward meeting many of the goals by 2030 has stalled and in fact, slid backward, according to assessments by the Gates Foundation as well as UN agencies.
However, the foundation did mark some successes, honoring the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, for her leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It hailed the European Union’s export of more than a billion vaccine doses and promised new investments in health care manufacturing in African countries. In a speech accepting the Global Goalkeeper Award on Tuesday evening, von der Leyen said she shared it with “millions of ordinary Europeans who have helped us all make it through the pandemic.”
That is despite the world’s dismal record on health equity as measured through access to tests, treatments, and vaccines.
Numerous barriers hampered broader vaccine production -- from lack of manufacturing capacity and raw materials to opposition, from Gates and others, to loosening intellectual property rules.