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Prime Minister Ardern and Prime Minister Sanchez to Join Bill and Melinda Gates at Goalkeepers 2019 in New York City

Third annual Goalkeepers event will focus on global inequality and the importance of designing health and education investments to prioritize the poorest

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

SEATTLE, September 25, 2019 – Today, Bill and Melinda Gates, co-chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will co-host the third annual Goalkeepers event in New York City. This event convenes global leaders to recognize the progress that’s been made in global health and development and highlight the critical importance of closing the global inequality gap to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals). New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, and other emerging and established leaders from around the world will be participating.

This year’s event will focus on global inequality, highlighting themes from Bill and Melinda Gates’s 2019 Goalkeepers Data Report. Issued on September 17, the report features new data showing that while progress on health and development continues, global inequality is persistent and remains a major barrier to achieving the Global Goals.

Three new partnerships, called “Accelerators,” will be announced at Goalkeepers this year. They include scaling access to prenatal supplements for women, expanding innovative family planning programs for young couples, and mobilizing critical global support for mental health services.

A Smart Start for Girls: Led by Population Services International (PSI), in partnership with the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health, this Accelerator will scale PSI’s proven Smart Start program throughout Ethiopia, connecting hard-to-reach girls with access to contraception. With this expansion, PSI will pilot a new program offering economic and empowerment opportunities to couples engaged in Smart Start. As part of its broader Adolescents 360 program, PSI will also expand its family planning programs in Nigeria. Additional partners for this Accelerator include the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), MaverickNext, Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW), Gates Philanthropy Partners, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies: Led by Micronutrient Forum, this Accelerator will scale access to prenatal supplements worldwide. Also known as multiple micronutrient supplements (MMS), prenatal vitamins have been proven to significantly improve maternal nutrition and reduce infant and child mortality. This new partnership brings together nearly $50 million in contributions to reach more than 17.5 million pregnant women and their newborns in countries including Myanmar, Indonesia, and Bangladesh over the next three years. Partners include the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, DSM, Eleanor Crook Foundation, Halodocs Indonesia, Kirk Humanitarian, Nutrition International, New York Academy of Sciences, Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Sight and Life, UNICEF, and Vitamin Angels.

Mental Health for All: Led by United for Global Mental Health, this Accelerator will catalyze government action and enlist the support of the private sector to increase financing for and access to mental health services. In addition to announcing HSBC’s new mental health education program for its 238,000 employees, this Accelerator will launch the first independent monitoring and accountability tool to track quality data on mental health around the world. Partners include HSBC and Speak Your Mind.

At today’s event, Prime Minister Ardern and Prime Minister Sanchez will speak on stage with Bill and Melinda Gates about the barriers posed to progress by global inequality. Additional sessions will feature conversations with other speakers from around the world exploring progress made and interventions needed to reach the Global Goals. The BBC will also host a World Debate on global inequality, bringing together global leaders to discuss the challenges presented by global inequality and how to address them.

The event will be hosted by Tumelo Mothotoane, senior anchor at South African news broadcaster eNCA and host of “#Africa with Tumelo Mothotoane.” It will also feature musical performances by Ogi Ifediora and the Goalkeepers Choir.

Goalkeepers 2019 can be livestreamed on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s YouTube channel:

Visit for more information.



About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

About Goalkeepers

Goalkeepers is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s campaign to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals). By sharing stories and data behind the Global Goals through events and an annual report, we hope to inspire a new generation of leaders—Goalkeepers who raise awareness of progress, hold their leaders accountable, and drive action to achieve the Global Goals.

About the Global Goals

On September 25, 2015, at the United Nations headquarters in New York, 193 world leaders committed to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals). These are a series of ambitious objectives and targets to achieve three extraordinary things by 2030: end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and fix climate change.

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