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Bill Gates, wife to clear Nigeria’s $76m debt to Japan

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By Ene Onoja

Nigeria owes Japan $76 million for a polio eradication loan.

As some leaders are increasing their focus on issues solely within their own borders, Bill and Melinda Gates continue to show the importance of looking outward — and they’ve demonstrated this yet again by announcing they will settle Nigeria’s $76 million debt to Japan.

Nigeria’s debt to Japan is the result of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) provided by the Japanese government in 2014 for increased polio eradication efforts.

The country has made great strides in its efforts to eliminate the disease thanks to this funding.

Nigeria did not record a wild case of polio from July 2014 to August 2016, when two cases were reported.

No new cases of the wild poliovirus were reported in 2017 and there were only four cases reported in 2016, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

All of this means that Nigeria is very close to eradicating polio, which would leave just two countries in the world where the disease is still endemic, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Global Citizen campaigns to eradicate polio and ensure all individuals have access to good healthcare. You can take action here.

As the largest private philanthropic organization in the world, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation spends just over $3 billion a year on development assistance, according to The Guardian.

Eradicating polio is one of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s top priorities. In fact, at the last annual Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, the Gates Foundation announced it would match two-to-one Rotary’s commitment to raise $50 million a year over the next three years, which would result in $450 million towards polio eradication efforts.

“Some people, especially these days, think the world is getting worse,” Gates said at the convention last June. “The progress on polio is a reminder of what people can accomplish when they are bold, determined, and willing to work together.”

While the Gates family is notoriously generous and forward-thinking when it comes to supporting the accomplishment of the United Nations…

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