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May 20, 2024
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Health Groups Pledge $300 Million to Fight Climate Change’s Health Impacts

The Novo Nordisk Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Wellcome Trust have announced a new partnership, committing $300 million over three years to stimulate innovative research in developing countries into three of the world’s most critical global health challenges and their interlinkages – including climate change, infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The three-year initiative was announced at the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s Global Science Summit in Denmark, where each organization committed US$100 million, for a total of US$300 million. Initial funding will support solutions to address the health impacts of climate change; infectious disease and antimicrobial resistance (AMR); and greater understanding of the interplay between nutrition, immunity, disease, and developmental outcomes.

Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, CEO, Novo Nordisk Foundation said , “by pooling the vast experience and unique expertise of each organization—across research, technology, innovation, and enterprise—we can make advances that wouldn’t otherwise be possible, I am particularly excited about the chance to break down barriers between often isolated areas of work—between cardiometabolic and infectious diseases, or between scientific discovery and delivery of solutions, for example—and support the development of truly innovative solutions that can improve, and save, lives.”

The new funding will Advance climate data, sustainable agriculture, and food systems. To better protect people globally from the devastating effects of climate change on health, solutions that draw across climate, health, and agricultural science will be needed.

This initiative will help drive deeper understanding of the impacts of climate change, develop novel solutions, and strengthen available data to support environmental sustainability, build food system resilience, and protect the health of vulnerable populations around the world.

The initiative will also address AMR, advancing disease surveillance, and developing vaccines for respiratory infections. As new pathogens emerge, persistent threats like tuberculosis remain, and the prevalence of AMR increases, infectious diseases continue to pose a significant threat to countries and regions around the world.

New advances in detection and the development of vaccines and other tools can help reduce the burden of disease in LMICs and prevent outbreaks from turning into global crises.

Dr. Catherine Kyobutungi, executive director of the African Population and Health Research Center, a leading scientific research institution said, “the most effective solutions to pressing challenges often emerge from the very communities they affect, I’m encouraged that this new partnership seeks to unlock novel ideas and support the scientists working directly with the communities that stand to benefit the most.”

“We face huge challenges to protecting and improving physical and mental health, compounded by vast inequities globally,” said John-Arne Røttingen, CEO of Wellcome. “Solutions will start in science. We’ve seen this throughout history, and we’ve lived first-hand through incredible advances to save and improve lives.”

“In today’s complex world, health challenges increasingly overlap. We need global collaboration and cooperation more than ever to build healthier futures, and for society to thrive. I look forward to seeing the exciting, innovative research that will come as a result of this partnership,” he added.

Mark Suzman, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said, “We’re on the cusp of so many scientific breakthroughs in agriculture, health, and nutrition, and with the right support these innovations will save and improve lives around the world. Every sector has a critical role to play, and we hope this collaboration opens the door for other funders and partners to contribute to scaling up existing innovations and developing the tools of tomorrow.”

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