The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced a new budget of $8.3 billion to continue its work tackling poverty, disease, and inequity in 2023.
Mark Suzman, the foundation’s CEO, in his annual letter on the foundation’s website, said the board of trustees’ approval of the budget puts the foundation on track to reach an annual payout of $9 billion by 2026.
He said the budget also represents a 15 per cent increase over the 2022 forecasted payout which enables the foundation to give out more grants than any other philanthropic organisation.
Answering questions on the scale of the foundation’s influence and access to global leaders, the CEO said it tries to use its privilege to push relentlessly for world leaders to spend their funds to lift up vulnerable populations.
He cited examples from the organisation’s works on climate adaptation for smallholder farmers, malaria, and US education, he detailed how the foundation advocates for solutions and brings diverse voices to decision-making tables.
“Our role is to ensure that decision-makers—be the school board members or cassava growers or health ministers—have the best possible options to choose from and the best possible data to inform their decisions,” the letter reads.
“And where there’s a solution that can improve livelihoods and save lives, we’ll advocate persistently for it.
“We won’t stop using our influence, along with our monetary commitments, to find solutions—as long as hundreds of thousands of children die of malaria just because of where they live, as long as students of color and low-income students don’t have equitable educational opportunities, and as long as famine threatens entire populations.”
Suzman said while the foundation was optimistic about the potential for progress, it was also aware that the challenges the world faces would likely not be resolved in 2023.
“That means we’ll be looking for even more effective ways to accelerate innovation and spur action toward the global goals,” he stated in the letter.
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