Gateses pledge $10B for vaccine effort

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.

TEXT OF STORY

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.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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