Gates Foundation pledges $7 billion for Africa as Ukraine war diverts donor cash


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said on Thursday it will allocate $7 billion to Africa over the next four years, as Bill Gates warned that the crisis in Ukraine was reducing the amount of aid flowing to the continent.

The Foundation’s commitment, which is a 40% increase over the amount spent over the previous four years, will go towards projects that address hunger, disease, poverty and gender inequality.

Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, will have the largest share.

Humanitarian groups in Africa are struggling with the diversion of funds to Ukraine and as Russia’s invasion raises global commodity prices, affecting aid operations.

“European budgets are deeply affected by the war in Ukraine and so right now the trend in aid is not to increase,” the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft Corp ( MSFT.O ) told reporters at the University of Nairobi during a visit to Kenya.

“If you bring all the aid (to Africa), including all the climate aid, we’re going to have a few years where it’s probably going to go down.”

Kenya and much of East Africa are suffering from the worst drought in four decades.

Drought, exacerbated by conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic, has pushed more than 10 million people in the region “to the brink of a famine crisis,” the US-based Christian aid group said this week. United States World Vision.

The United Nations says it expects famine to be declared in parts of Somalia this year.

After a meeting with Kenyan President William Ruto, Gates said on Wednesday that the Foundation would establish a regional office in Nairobi.

“Our foundation will continue to support solutions in health, agriculture and other critical areas, and the systems to get them out of the lab and into the people who need them,” Gates, who runs the foundation with his ex-wife Melinda French. Gates said in a statement.

The Foundation in 2021 gave $6.7 billion in charitable support and last week pledged $1.4 billion to help the world’s small farmers tackle climate change.

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