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ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi conferred the Award of “Hilal-e-Pakistan” to Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, William Henry Gates III (Bill Gates) in recognition of his support for poverty alleviation and healthcare.

The award ceremony was held at Aiwan-e-Sadr in Islamabad on Thursday. Federal ministers, senior officials, and members of Diplomatic Corps attended the ceremony.

While congratulating Gates on receiving the award of Hilal-e-Pakistan, the president said that the award was in recognition of his philanthropic services towards the cause of humanity.

Earlier, Bill Gates called on President Dr Arif Alvi. The president deeply appreciated the assistance provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for eradicating polio. “Pakistan has not reported a single case of wild poliovirus for one full year and things look promising but we would not lower our guard,” the president said.

He said that the polio campaign experience was of tremendous help during Covid-19, in which, Pakistan performed exceptionally well.

The president said that Pakistan is trying to improve its nutrition needs of mother and child and that Ehsaas has a very good programme in this regard.

Gates said that research being undertaken by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on gastric microbiome could help overcome some challenges in this regard.

The president said that Pakistan was looking forward to outstanding cooperation with Microsoft in the IT sector. He said that Pakistan had huge youth bulge that could enormously help to meet the requirements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Both being avid readers, they also exchanged views on recent books on increasing wealth disparity in the world and the president emphasized that Gates’ philanthropic work has led the way for rich people to work with social causes and reduce this inequality.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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