Foreign Aid From U.S., Dozens Of Other Countries Makes The World ‘Better, More Prosperous And Safer’

In this Washington Post opinion piece, Bill Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, cites declines in global child mortality rates as an example of how development aid works, and writes, “I am giving a report Thursday to the heads of the Group of 20 (G20) governments, including President Obama, suggesting creative ways for the world to continue investing in development despite fiscal constraints.” Gates highlights three key ideas he hopes “become part of congressional deliberations over the coming weeks” — first, “programs funded by U.S. generosity have been a core component of this 50-year project of raising living standards around the world”; second, “development isn’t just good for people in poor countries; it’s good for all of us”; and third, “the United States is not doing development alone. We spend about one percent of our total budget on aid, as do dozens of donor countries.”

He concludes, “Sometimes Americans get the impression that we’re shouldering the whole burden of development and that, ultimately, our aid doesn’t make a big difference. I see it very differently. We’re providing strategic investments that link up with many other investments to systematically make a better, more prosperous and safer world. If we do it right, we can keep shrinking the number of countries where aid is needed to zero” (11/1).