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Gates Annual Letter Should Prompt Discussion About West’s Role In Poverty Eradication

Washington Post: Grading the 2015 Bill and Melinda Gates letter on poverty alleviation
Chris Blattman, associate professor of political science and international and public affairs at Columbia University

“…[T]o preview, my overall grade [of the Bill and Melinda Gates annual letter] is a B. … By 2030, probably half the world’s poor will live in fragile and conflict-affected places. These are the places that will be hard, maybe impossible, to penetrate with vaccines, the Internet, agricultural extension, and online courses. They certainly won’t be industrializing. If that’s right, then poverty reduction today is an economic and health problem. But poverty eradication in the very near future is a political problem. … We don’t know what to do, and we Westerners don’t know if we make it worse when we try to make it better. To me, that sounds like a conversation worth having…” (1/23).

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