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A €54m investment boost targets world's poorest people

19 Oct 18

International donors are working together to boost private investment to health services in Africa.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the European Union hope that the partnership will boost private investment, which can help provide cost-effective services and diagnose diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV and malaria faster – and provide proper treatment.

The Foundation will giving €54m to help the EU mobilise private investment under its External Investment Plan.

The EIP helps boost investment in African and European countries, with the aim to contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, tackle migration and improve economic and social development.

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said the partnership would strengthen diagnostic services for infectious diseases that “still kill and harm the highest numbers of the world’s poorest people”.

“By having better tools to more accurately identify these diseases, we can provide the right treatments at the right time, and, ultimately, ensure more people across sub-Saharan Africa are able to live healthy and productive lives,” he said.

Most of the foundation’s contribution to the plan – €43.2m – will be used to leverage private investment to promote growth and job creation in Africa.

An additional €10.8m will be invested in technical assistance, such as research and innovation in ‘e-health’ in less developed environments, which could lead to cheaper healthcare services, the European Commission said.

Neven Mimica, EU commissioner for international cooperation and development, said: “Through the Gates Foundation's contribution of €54m to our External Investment Plan, we will unlock private investment in a sector where additional investments in state-of-the-art testing facilities are urgently needed in order to meet the health needs of ample sectors of the population.”

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