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International Aid System Should Account For ‘Shifting Patterns Of Poverty,’ Broaden Eligibility Requirements

Wall Street Journal: A New Map of Poverty, a New Approach to International Aid
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…[W]ell-focused support enables developing countries to do a few really important things better: provide basic health care, increase access to education, and help subsistence farmers improve crop yields. Yet the way that the current global-aid system measures poverty [by using a nation’s average income] could deal a setback to countries and people on the cusp of escaping it. … I am attending the spring meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund this weekend in Washington, D.C., where adapting the aid system to account for shifting patterns of poverty will be a topic of discussion. I’m optimistic that aid experts will embrace some fresh ideas now circulating. These include broadening eligibility requirements to account for health, education, and agricultural productivity, adapting the aid system to address the needs of the poorest where they are, as well as making the transition away from aid more gradual…” (4/14).