ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi met Bill Gates, Co-Chairman of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, on Wednesday and discussed with him avenues of partnership in health, education and other social sectors in Pakistan.

Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination  Saira Afzal Tarar, Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb, Special Assistant to PM Ali Jehangir Siddiqui and senior government officials were also present, according to a Press release received here from Switzerland.

The Prime Minister thanked and appreciated the support provided by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Pakistan, particularly for the Polio Eradication Program.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and empowerment of farmers through financial and digital inclusion was also discussed during the meeting.

“We are focused on social sector reforms and the recent major initiatives of our government in health and education (sectors) would certainly benefit people in general and the poor and vulnerable in particular,” the Prime Minister highlighted.

While recalling the meeting held at the sidelines of UNGA last year, the Prime Minister apprised the progress made by Directorate of National Savings that had partnered with Karandaaz Pakistan to digitise over 7 million accounts and certificate holders among which more than half of them were women. Karandaaz Pakistan is a Pakistani company working for promoting access to finance for small businesses through commercially directed investments and financial inclusion for individuals.

Bill Gates appreciated the tremendous progress achieved in eradication of polio during the last four years and hoped that all the stakeholders would make the final push to achieve the cherished goal of complete eradication of polio from the remaining parts of the country.

Bill Gates thanked the Prime Minister for continuous commitment of the government of Pakistan in achieving the objective of eradicating polio from Pakistan.

He also appreciated the personal commitment of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.