Rapid Population Growth, Especially In Africa, Threatens Progress On Reducing Poverty, Gates Foundation Report Says; Bill Gates Comments On U.S. Foreign Aid, Mexico City Policy

Devex: Bill and Melinda Gates on the ‘single biggest determinant’ of progress on the SDGs
“Rapid population growth, particularly in Africa, represents the greatest threat to progress in reducing global poverty, according to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, whose founders are calling for greater investments in human capital to transform the ‘youth bulge’ into a development opportunity…” (Cheney, 9/18).

The Guardian: The African youth boom: what’s worrying Bill Gates
“What worries Bill Gates most? The booming population of Africa looms over his foundation’s latest global survey. By the end of this century there will be four billion more people on Earth — and three billion of these extra souls will be born in Africa. The challenge, he says, is that ‘Africa must almost quadruple its agricultural productivity to feed itself. That’s very daunting’…” (Toynbee, 9/18).

The Guardian: Bill Gates: ‘Trump could be persuaded’ on U.S. foreign aid spending
“Donald Trump is ‘open-minded’ about policies and might be persuaded on foreign aid, Bill Gates has said in an exclusive interview with The Guardian. The billionaire philanthropist said President Trump does not have a fixed ideology in most areas and is open to new ideas, ‘particularly if it’s doing things in a different way than was done before.’ … Gates was speaking ahead of Tuesday’s launch of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s annual Goalkeepers report, which warns that decades of progress in the fight against poverty and disease is at risk of stalling…” (Ratcliffe/Toynbee, 9/18).

“…The philanthropist told reporters that the Trump administration’s broad application of the Mexico City policy — the so-called gag rule that blocks U.S. [global health] funding for foreign organizations that discuss or provide abortion services — has complicated unrelated aid efforts. For instance, Gates noted that condoms have played a vital role in curbing HIV but that the breadth of the gag rule has created new challenges for reproductive health groups to get funding, POLITICO’s Sarah Owermohle reports…” (Diamond et al., 9/18).

Reuters: Africa’s rapid population growth puts poverty progress at risk, says Gates
“…Asked about the best ways of tackling the growing population and poverty challenge, Gates said improving access to birth control was key, and this should be combined with investment in young people’s health and education. … The report … tracks 18 data points on United Nations development goals, including child and maternal deaths, stunting, access to contraceptives, HIV, malaria, extreme poverty, financial inclusion, and sanitation…” (Kelland, 9/18).

Wall Street Journal: Extreme Poverty Concentrates in Sub-Saharan Africa
“…Just two countries — Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo — will be home to 44 percent of people living in extreme poverty by 2050 if trends continue, according to a new report from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, compared with 20 percent today. The World Bank, which will release its own report on extreme poverty this week, defines the status as subsisting on less than $1.90 a day. Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole will be home to 86 percent of the world’s extreme poor unless action is taken, such as educating more women and giving them access to contraception, the report says. That compares with 57 percent in 2017…” (McKay et al., 9/18).

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