Pakistan has honored the billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates with the ‘Crescent of Pakistan’ for his philanthropy
Gates received the prestigious civilian award for his foundation’s work in fighting poverty and diseases like polio, during a visit to Islamabad.
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RT reports: Gates received the Hilal-e-Pakistan (Crescent of Pakistan) award – the nation’s second-highest civilian honor – after meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday. President Arif Alvi personally handed him the prize during a televised ceremony. Gates received the distinction “in recognition of his work to alleviate poverty and diseases,” according to the Associated Press.
The award is granted only once each year by the president and is not limited to Pakistani citizens, open to anyone who contributes to the country’s national interests, culture “or other significant public or private endeavors.”
Gates and his non-profit, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, have worked for years to eradicate diseases like polio in Pakistan, with only a single case of the illness reported last year.
Prime Minister Khan also marked the occasion with a tweet, sharing a photo of himself with the billionaire while thanking him for “his immense contribution.” Cabinet Minister Faisal Javed Khan, meanwhile, said Gates was granted a “well deserved honor” for his “valuable, exceptional and extraordinary services fighting poverty, disease, and inequity around the world.”