ADDIS ABABA (HAN) November 17, 2015. Public Diplomacy & regional Security. Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros met Dr. Mark Suzman, the President of the Global Policy and Advocacy and Country programs of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Monday (November 16).
Dr. Tedros recalled the excellent work the Foundation is doing with its very genuine and successful partnership with Ethiopia. He emphasized the Foundation’s work in assisting the development of Ethiopia in helping small farmers increase food production though seed improvement programs, expanding access to vaccines for children, safe water and sanitation for the poor, helping women to set up and engage in cooperatives and other areas.
He mentioned the importance of agriculture as an engine for the country’s growth and transformation, stressing that investment in this sector was particularly important. Dr. Mark Suzman agreed with the Foreign Minister’s view of the partnership between the Foundation and Ethiopia, calling it “wonderful”. He said his visit was part of the Foundation’s efforts to look for feedback to see how it could improve its cooperation with countries like Ethiopia.
He said that the Foundation really needed “dynamic partners on the ground who know what they want to work and how they will achieve it.” Dr. Mark said the new nutrition strategy, approved by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, allowed for US$776 million to tackle malnutrition help all women and children survive and thrive. The program would include Ethiopia.
Dr. Mark promised to provide all necessary assistances to help the country improve its health, agriculture, financing and other areas. The Foundation would, he said, align its policies with the core issues of the second Growth and Transformation Plan to ensure further successful cooperation. Ethiopia, he said, was an important focus country for the Foundation which currently provides US$265 million in funding to partner organizations operating in various health and development programs across the country. MFA