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January 28, 2014

The 2014 Gates Foundation letter was just released and its theme is “3 Myths that Block Progress For the Poor.” The letter to Foundation partners focuses on the advances made in eradicating disease in the third world. “By any measure, the world is better than it ever has been. 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’s harmful.” Bill Gates sat down with the media to educate on his goals for reducing disease, poverty, and stabilizing the world population.

Gates outlines the challenges his foundation faces: malaria in Africa, disease in Pakistan and India. Gates predicts that within 20 years, with the help of science and foreign aid, malaria will be mostly eradicated worldwide. He also aims to eradicate GI and respiratory deaths that are easily treated with medicine and clean water.

Gates says the biggest problem with getting rich donors to contribute to the cause is their false belief that aid will lead to problems of overpopulation in the third world. He says, “I don’t think people like to say out loud that we want to let these kids die because there are too many of them. But by not choosing to get into health in the early days of our Foundation, I was also a victim of the myth of overpopulation. There is phenomenally good news here. The world’s population will peak. Now we do have population growth in areas we don’t want it, like Yemen, Pakistan, and parts of Africa, where we don’t have the resources to really help those people. So we need to get serious about figuring out how to make sure there is relative health and satisfaction in those places.”

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