The mission of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is to create a world where every person has the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life. A major focus of the foundation is to reduce infectious disease burden, particularly in low-resource settings, by generating high-quality data and evidence, spurring innovations, creating market incentives, and strengthening global cooperation.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation appreciates the forum afforded by GloPID-R to its members, including observers from the World Health Organization and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, to communicate intent and actions to prepare for and to respond to infectious disease outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics. This maximizes cooperation and minimizes unnecessary duplication across funding organizations. These benefits were apparent as a part of the COVID-19 pandemic response since the first GloPID-R COVID-19 meetings in February 2020.
David Vaughn, MD, MPH, Senior Program Officer
The responsibility of pandemic preparedness and response largely falls to governments to protect their citizens since only governments have the needed financial resources. On the other hand, private foundations may have advantages over governments to respond faster, to target under-resourced areas, and to take financial risks. For the example of COVID-19, the foundation issued its first grants in January 2020, ultimately expending more than US$2 billion to improve assessments (e.g., diagnostics and surveillance reporting) and interventions (clinical care and drug, vaccine, and other biologics product development) in support of low- and middle-income countries.
The foundation has made meaningful yearly investments in support of pandemic preparedness, alongside the World Health Organization and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. The foundation meets regularly with government funding agencies and other private philanthropies, including through GloPID-R, to coordinate global efforts with a focus on the needs of low- and middle-income countries. With its limited preparedness funding, the foundation focuses on surveillance and disruptive discovery, translational science, and development of better, more affordable, and more easily disseminated products that that can have transformational impact on global health and development.
The GloPID-R Secretariat is a project which receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 874667.