Every year Bill and Melinda Gates write an annual letter for the Gates Foundation. The recently published 2014 Gates letter is titled “Three Myths that Block Progress for the Poor.” In this letter, Gates debunks these 3 myths that are often used as reasons to not give aid to the poor.
Bill and Melinda Gates 300×255 Bill Gates Debunks 3 Myths That Block Progress for Poor Myth One – Poor Countries Are Doomed To Stay Poor – by Bill Gates That Block Progress for Poor
How does Bill Gates debunk this Myth:
Many of the countries we used to call poor now have thriving economies. The percentage of very poor people has dropped by half since 1990. In Africa, income has climbed by two-thirds since 1998 and 7 of the 10 fastest-growing economies of the past half-decade are in Africa.
Africa has also made big strides in health and education Prediction: In 2035 there will be almost no poor countries left in the world. There will still be poor people but almost all countries will be self-sufficient.
Bill Gates in Ghana 300×200 Bill Gates Debunks 3 Myths That Block Progress for Poor A growing number of countries in Africa are building community health systems, which are extremely cost-effective (Accra, Ghana, 2013). Myth Two – Foreign Aid Is A Big Waste – by Bill Gates
Bill Gates debunk this.
People think we spend too much money on Foreign aid – The U.S. spends less than 1% of our budget or about $30 per person a year. Would you ask for your $30 back rather than help people in need?
Approximately a third of that 1% is spent on health: vaccines, bed nets, family planning, drugs to keep people with HIV alive, and so on. Many lives, especially those of children, are directly saved.
Some don’t want to give foreign aid because of episodes of corruption. Many do get caught and there have been more episodes of corruption lately in the U.S. but funding doesn’t get cut to those districts. The Internet is making it easier to hold people accountable.
To the argument that foreign aid keeps countries dependent, many countries that previously received aid no longer need it or receive very little.
Also, not all aid is to help governments. Some are sent to fund research for vaccines or seeds – “A vaccination campaign in southern Africa virtually eliminated measles as a killer of children.”
“I hope we can stop discussing whether aid works, and spend more time talking about how it can work better. I have believed for a long time that disparities in health are some of the worst inequities in the world—that it is unjust and unacceptable that millions of children die every year from causes that we can prevent or treat.” that Bill and Melinda Gates have convinced you that there is every reason that we should help the poor.
I’ve only shown you snippets of what they each said in their 2014 Gates Foundation letter. You can read the 3 Myths That Block Progress for the Poor letter in its entirety at the Gates Foundation organization.