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Bill Gates calls on South Korea to increase international aid

Microsoft Corp co-founder and billionaire Bill Gates called on Tuesday for South Korea to play a bigger role in global health and to increase aid, working with his foundation to strengthen the fight against diseases.

This is a crisis moment for global health. This is also a fantastic time for our foundation to strengthen partnership with Korea, providing great ideas for new tools and more resources to help those in need,” Mr Gates said in a speech at the National Assembly.

The co-founder of Microsoft arrived in South Korea late on Monday to sign an agreement with the government and outline their work on global health security, improvements to health equality and the fight against infectious diseases.

Global leader in pandemic response

“Korea is poised to be a leader in this work,” Gates said, citing its support of multilateral global health initiatives such as a USD 200 million pledge to vaccine-sharing scheme COVAX. Gates also highlighted the country’s vaccine manufacturing, diagnostic manufacturing, R&D capabilities and diagnostic capabilities as strengths.

South Korea's #SK inc says it has invested $250 million in #TerraPower, a US project founded by billionaire Bill Gates that develops small-scale nuclear power reactors. pic.twitter.com/4ONDMIGLkw

— Wall Street Finance (@WSFenglish) August 15, 2022

Ahead of his speech, he met with South Korean National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo and other lawmakers, where they primarily discussed how to expand health cooperation and details on what he sees as a bigger role for South Korea. Gates is also scheduled to meet with President Yoon Suk-yeol on Tuesday.

During the talks, Gates called for an increase in funding for groups that help improve health conditions in poor countries and prevent pandemics, and asked if South Korea would be able to scale up its international aid to 1.3 percent of GDP.

Bill Gates, in an address to South Korea's legislature, on Tuesday expressed hope that the country can make a big contribution to global efforts to battle the coronavirus pandemic and prevent future ones.https://t.co/[email protected] #BillGates

— Nikkei Asia (@NikkeiAsia) August 16, 2022

South Korean lawmakers said there was consensus for increasing aid and promised to “play a leading role in responding to global pandemics by expanding its participation in CEPI funds starting next year.”

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations is a foundation that works with public, private, philanthropic and civil society organisations to develop vaccines against future epidemics.


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