Everyday inequality-related issue contributes to the death of 21,300 people. And this is a conservative estimate of the victims resulting from hunger, extreme weather events due to warming, lack of health care, and violence against women. Furthermore, the hypocrisy we witness every day: we see how European refugees fleeing war are treated with decency and humanity while others equally desperate from other parts of the world are faced with disdain in dehumanised camps. This imbalance is unacceptable. All human beings have the same value, no matter the geographical lottery of their place of birth.
These were reflections from GMT founder Graça Machel when she addressed hundreds of delegates during the 25th-anniversary celebrations of the International Cooperation program of the La Caixa Foundation in CosmoCaixa, Spain, on July 1st, 2022. She became the most applauded speaker in a discussion panel when addressing these issues, where leading names in international cooperation and development sectors were present. Other delegates included the president of Global Development of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Chris Elias; Pedro Alonso, an expert in Global Health; and Seth Berkley, director of the Gavi Alliance.
Mrs Machel at the 25th anniversary of the International Cooperation program of the La Caixa Foundation, held at CosmoCaixa, Spain
The day’s discussions focused on global health and development and the significant challenges and priorities for the coming years–with a common goal: to continue transforming lives. Mrs Machel further challenged achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the 2030 threshold as possible. However, she predicted that little progress will be made without the radical transformation of health infrastructures. Seth Berkely added that to be prepared for future pandemics and to be able to assist all populations, it is imperative to have solvent leadership and strengthen health systems. On his part, Pedro Alonso shared that every year more than five million children under the age of five die from preventable causes, most of them from infectious diseases.
Since 1997, the La Caixa Foundation, according to Antonio Vila Bertrán, General Manager of “la Caixa” Foundation, has made contributions through alliances with IS Global, with Bill and Belinda Gates, or with Gavi, which has resulted in the vaccination of more than eight million children. It has also supported UNICEF’s Arida project for better diagnosis and treatment of childhood pneumonia. Also, UNHCR has worked to mitigate the high rates of the most severe malnutrition in refugee camps.
Since its launch in 1997, “la Caixa” Foundation’s International Cooperation Programme has supported a total of 663 projects in 65 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, all to create opportunities and combat inequality among the most vulnerable groups within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Based on work focused on meeting the most urgent needs and thanks to its alliances with more than 800 partners and collaborators, the Programme has reached more than 16 million people.