Annual Report 2018
LETTER FROM THE CEO
More people around the world than ever before led healthy, productive lives in 2018.
It was the year that transmission of wild poliovirus was cornered to the smallest area in history, the first new treatment for relapsing malaria in 60 years was approved, and the number of women in developing countries using modern contraceptives reached record levels. Innovations in sanitation, financial services and healthcare were brought to refugees, a billion people were treated for neglected tropical diseases, and 100 million mobile money accounts across Africa were made interoperable—allowing people to send and receive payments more quickly, safely and affordably.
At the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we launched major new efforts to expand economic opportunity in the United States and advance women’s economic empowerment globally. We opened a new office in Berlin and established the Gates Medical Research Institute—a biotech non-profit dedicated to saving the lives of the world's poorest people through translational medicine.
None of this would have been possible without the expertise, experience and enthusiasm of you, our partners in the public, private and philanthropic sectors—or the financial resources with which we have been entrusted. For that reason, I am pleased to share with you the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s 2018 Annual Report. Complete audited financial statements are available on gatesfoundation.org, giving a clear and comprehensive picture of our ongoing efforts to be responsible financial stewards.
The reason why this is so important to us is that we know where we want our investments to go:
- Ensuring more children and young people survive and thrive.
- Empowering the poorest, especially women and girls, to transform their lives.
- Combatting infectious diseases that particularly affect the poorest.
- Inspiring people to take action to change the world.
By taking good care of the money given to us, we can make sure that as much of it as possible goes toward these four missions, and ultimately toward fulfilling our shared vision of a world in which everyone has the chance to lead a healthy, productive life.
It is an honor to join forces in this cause with our outstanding friends, partners and grantees across the United States and around the world. To all of you, I extend my deepest thanks.
Sue Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH
Chief Executive Officer
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation