Bill Gates: Foreign aid works

Billionaire philantrophist Bill Gates. Photo by: Moritz Hager / World Economic Forum / CC BY-SA

Why the opposition to foreign aid?

Bill Gates can’t keep his frustrations on the increasing resistance of many rich countries to foreign aid at bay in his opinion piece for The New York Times. While it is natural for people not to invest in things they are convinced will not pay off, Gates said the argument that foreign aid does not work is “not convincing.”

Gates said child mortality over the past 50 years has gone down from 20 million to fewer than 8 million, and the proportion of people in poverty has also declined by more than half. All these are due in large part to aid-funded programs that buy vaccines and boost farmer productivity.

Gates believes in people’s generosity — the $2.1 billion donated to help famine victims in the Horn of Africa is a testament to that. He hopes, however, that some of that generosity could be converted into stronger support for foreign aid programs.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.