The notion that world poverty cannot be solved is not only wrong, it is dangerous, Bill Gates has said.
The Microsoft founder, who has run the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the last number of years, released the foundation’s annual letter, in which he argues against the three “myths” that he says block progress for poor people.
“By almost any measure, the world is better than it has ever been,” the letter begins.
“People are living longer, healthier lives.Many nations that were aid recipients are now self-sufficient.
“You might think that such striking progress would be widely celebrated, but in fact, Melinda and I are struck by how many people think the world is getting worse.
“The belief that the world can’t solve extreme poverty and disease isn’t just mistaken. It is harmful.”
Gates first takes aim at the idea that “poor countries are doomed to stay poor”.
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He points to improvements in infant mortality rates, as well as the dramatic overhaul of Mexico City as evidence that aid works, calling the Mexican capital a “miracle”.
“By 2035, there will be almost no poor countries left in the world,” Gates says.
He goes on to attack the myth that foreign aid is a big waste, enlisting the help of Bill Nye, Science Guy.
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For the third myth, Gates enlists Professor Hans Rosling, who tackles the notion that treating poverty would lead to overpopulation.
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The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation spends at least $1.5 billion to development causes yearly.