(MENAFN Press) Al Ansari Exchange, a leading Foreign Exchange and worldwide remittance company in the UAE, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced a partnership in support of two major health priorities: polio eradication and treatment and the prevention of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).
A joint commitment of USD 10 million was made, with each side committing to provide half of that amount over the next five years.
The agreement, which was jointly signed in Abu Dhabi by Bill Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation and Mohammed Ali Al Ansari, Chairman of the Board of Al Ansari Exchange, will kick off with an initial co-funded contribution of USD 4 million to support polio eradication activities in Pakistan and Afghanistan and the prevention and treatment of NTDs in sub-Saharan Africa.
Administered through the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, initial funds will go towards improving polio vaccination campaign quality.
The NTD funding will be administered through the END Fund, the world's first private philanthropic initiative to combat the seven most common NTDs in Africa, and target 12 million people, including 3 million school-aged children in Mali.
Worldwide, NTDs affect more than one billion of the world's poorest people, including 500 million children.
By supporting the delivery of drugs for the most common NTDs, the collaboration can help millions of people to live healthier lives and lift themselves out of poverty.
Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said: "The partnership we signed today is an example of focused, strategic philanthropy that will have a lasting impact on the lives of families living in the poorest parts of the world."
Mohammed Ali Al Ansari said: "Al Ansari Exchange's enthusiasm to positively transform society is a passion that distinguishes the company from its peers.
We consider corporate social responsibility an integral part of our business model as it allows us, our clients and our partners to appreciate the essence and value of the core services we offer.
We are pleased to partner with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for this project, which will benefit millions of people and hundreds of communities from different countries."
Al Ansari Exchange and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation share a common vision that new and smart partnerships, along with innovative funding mechanisms can significantly advance global health and development priorities.