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Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda arrive for a press conference on the third day of the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos. - 


Steve Chiotakis: Marketplace coverage from the World Economic Forum in Davos continues. There, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda announced a commitment of $10 billion over the next decade to research new vaccines and bring them to the world's poorest countries. Marketplace's Stephen Beard reports.

Stephen Beard: The Gates Foundation is the world's biggest private charity with $34 billion in its coffers. Today the two founders pledged to spend more of that cash on vaccines over the next decade. A lot more. In fact double what they spent over last ten years. At a news conference here, Melinda Gates said the extra spending would combat infectious disease in most of the poorest countries in the world.

MELINDA GATES: That means we'll be able to prevent the deaths -- with this investment and our partners' investments -- of over 8 million children in the next nine years.

The money will be spent on researching and delivering vaccines against malaria, AIDS and rotavirus. The decision reflects a growing concern about falling donations from deficit-laden governments. The fear is that if vaccination rates decline, infectious diseases could run out of control.

In Davos this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.