Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday met Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates on the sidelines of the UN conference on climate change here. The meeting between Modi and the American business magnate, whose foundation is focusing on fighting the pandemic, took place after the former launched the Initiative for the Resilient Island States (IRIS) for developing infrastructure of small island nations.
Details of the meeting were not immediately available. On Monday, Gates said that at this year’s UN Climate Conference, innovation will take center stage and he was optimistic about the road ahead. By bringing the world together at #COP26, we can find more ways to accelerate the development and adoption of the clean technologies we need to reach net-zero emissions, he said on Twitter.
Last month, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced a commitment of up to USD 120 million to accelerate access to the investigational antiviral drug molnupiravir for lower-income countries as part of its COVID-19 response effort. The funding will be allocated based on consultations with partners, and will support the range of activities required to develop and manufacture generic versions of the drug, which is being developed by Merck & Co in collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, the foundation said in a statement.
This commitment builds on the foundation’s ongoing efforts, including USD 1.9 billion in funding, since the start of the pandemic to increase access to COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, and tests by supporting research and development, regulatory work, at-risk manufacturing, and product delivery.