Gates Foundation 2009 Annual Report Released

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Tuesday released its 2009 annual report (.pdf) highlighting some of the foundation’s work over the last year, the Puget Sound Business Journal reports (Holtzman, 9/7).

In a letter introducing the annual report, Gates Foundation CEO Jeff Raikes “says eradicating polio” is one of his top priorities, the Associated Press reports. “Global health, particularly vaccine research and distribution, will continue to be the focus [of the foundation], with an eye toward meeting the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals by 2015,” the news service writes.

“The next five years offer a historic opportunity to have an impact on the health and welfare of people in the developing world,” according to Raikes. “Even in the face of very tough economic times across the globe, I am optimistic when I think about all that we can accomplish together with our partners,” he added.

The report also outlined the foundation’s 2009 grants, which totaled more than $3 billion, the AP writes. “By far the biggest portion went to global health, where grants totaling more than $1.8 billion were made last year,” the news service writes (Blankinship, 9/7).

Raikes also noted the “‘sobering’ results from a survey the foundation conducted of its own grantees. Those results, first released in June … indicate that grantees” were confused about the foundation’s “grant-making and decision-making processes,” and said the foundation lacked clarity in its goals and communication, the Puget Sound Business Journal writes.

“We don’t see our work as a popularity contest – there is bound to be some tension in even the most productive relationships – but we know that we must do everything we can to be sure that we and our grantees can have the maximum possible impact,” Raikes wrote in the report (9/7).

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