Bill Gates Identifies Innovative Development Financing Sources

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates. Photo by: Suzie Katz / CC BY-NC-ND

In his much-awaited report to G-20 leaders, Bill Gates enumerates sources of development financing that could generate more than $200 million per year.

The report was presented Nov. 3 at the G-20 summit in Cannes, France. Gates’ proposals include:

  • $80 billion from meeting donor aid commitments.

  • $8 billion over five years for an infrastructure fund financed by sovereign wealth funds.

  • $10.8 billion from a portion of a widely implemented tobacco excise tax.

  • Up to $48 billion from a financial transactions tax, $9 billion if only in Europe.

  • $4 billion from issuing diaspora bonds worth 1 percent of developing country migrants’ savings.

  • $37 billion from global bunker fuel tax.

Gates also proposes the G-20 forge innovative partnerships — such as triangular collaborations between rapidly growing countries, traditional donors, and poor countries — and endorse legally binding transparency requirements for multinationals active in developing countries’ extractive industries.

The billionaire philanthropist also urges G-20 leaders to form a public-private partnership that can help developing nations perform cost-benefit studies about the most effective ways to tackle development issues. He says his foundation “would be honored to work with G20 on a cost-effectiveness partnership.”

NGOs react

Leading development non-governmental organizations welcome Gates’ recommendations:

“Immediate implementation of Bill Gates proposals is more urgent than ever. As ONE, we call on the G20 to accept the recommendations of the report in full, and agree an accountable process to put them into action.  We ask President Felipe Calderon to insist on a progress report at the Mexico G20 in seven months’ time.” — Adrian Lovett, Europe director of ONE.

“Gates is piling the pressure on rich countries to deliver their aid promises. It is shocking that they are cutting this lifeline to the poorest. And he is specifically pressurising the Europeans to ensure their Financial Transaction Tax is used to help the poor and the planet. We hope Angela Merkel is listening.” — Luc Lampriere, spokesperson for Oxfam

“The fact that it takes a report from Bill Gates to get development back on the agenda speaks volumes about how the G20 needs to shift its focus in the future from not only being in crisis mode but towards building a more inclusive, sustainable global economy.” — Sam Worthington, president of InterAction

“We need David Cameron to get behind this tax and encourage other G20 nations to also endorse it. If the G20 fail to grasp this opportunity it will have tragic consequences for millions of the poorest people in our world.” — Paul Cook, director of advocacy at Tearfund

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About the author

  • Eliza Villarino

    Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.