Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates attends a meeting with South Korean National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, August 16, 2022. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/Pool

SEOUL: Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates on Tuesday called for South Korea to play a bigger role in global health and increase aid, working with his foundation to step up the fight against the disease. .

“This is a critical moment for global health,” Gates said in his address to Congress. It’s also a great time to provide more resources to help.” .

Gates arrived in South Korea late Monday to sign an agreement with the government and outline their work on global health security, improving health equity and fighting infectious diseases.

“South Korea is poised to be a leader in this effort,” Gates said, citing support for multilateral global health initiatives such as a $200 million pledge to the vaccine-sharing scheme COVAX.

Gates also highlighted the country’s strengths in vaccine manufacturing, diagnostic manufacturing, research and development capabilities, and diagnostic capabilities.

Ahead of his speech, he met with South Korea’s National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo and other members of the National Assembly, mainly to discuss details about how to expand health cooperation and what he sees as a bigger role for South Korea. .

During the meeting, Gates called for more funding for groups that would help improve health in poor countries and prevent pandemics, and asked if South Korea could expand international aid to 1.3% of GDP.

South Korean lawmakers said consensus had been reached on increasing aid, pledging to “play a leading role in the response to the global pandemic by expanding participation in the CEPI fund from next year.” The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations is a foundation working with public, private, philanthropic and civil society organizations to develop vaccines against future epidemics.

Gates is also scheduled to meet with President Yoon Seok-yeol on Tuesday.

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