Gates bolsters relief efforts as drought ravages Somalia

Saturday September 23 2017

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

From left: Former US President Barack Obama, Melinda Gates and Bill Gates speak at the Goalkeepers 2017 at Lincoln Center, New York, on September 20, 2017. The Gates contributed money to aid relief efforts in Somalia. PHOTO | COURTESY 

By NATION REPORTER
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Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Bill Gates has offered financial support to Somalis hit by drought.

Through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he gave out $1 million (Sh100m) toward this cause.

Bill Gates made the pledge during an event called Goalkeepers in New York on September 20.

INNOVATION

The event was dedicated to accelerating world progress and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The global event focused on women, entrepreneurship, global health and the role of technology and innovation in delivering change.

In attendance was former US President Barack Obama who said that development is a collaborative endeavour.

"We have to stand up for each other; recognize that progress is never inevitable; that it often can be fragile; it’s in need of constant renewal,… each of us can make a difference," Obama said.

ACTIVISTS

Also, Dahabshiil chief executive officer Abdirashid Duale said: "We are honoured to have been recognized and invited to a prestigious event such as this, bringing together agents of change concerned about impacting positively on people’s lives."

Furthermore, the ‘Love Army’, a group of young international social media activists, has been working with ARC and Dahabshiil to help families affected by the drought.

The group made an aid appeal that caught the attention of the Gates.

TECHNOLOGY

The contribution was transferred to 1,000 villagers in the severely affected places.

The transfer of the money to their mobile phones was carried out live, enabling participants witness the efficiency of technology.

This was facilitated through Dahabshiil, telecommunications company Somtel and eDahab mobile payment service.

EDahab’s technology has also played a critical role in providing an alternative to conventional financial services.