During the World Economic Forum in Davos, Microsoft founder Bill Gates delivered a positive message in his yearly email. In a 25-page paper co-written with his wife Melinda, Gates argued that the world is currently in a better state than it has ever been. According to his analysis, virtually no countries will be classified as low-income by the World Bank by 2035, even after accounting for inflation.
Gates believes that developing countries have the potential to advance and that knowledge-sharing and technological advancements will play a significant role in reducing poverty. He cited statistics showing that extreme poverty rates have been cut in half over the past 25 years, and infant mortality rates have decreased. Many countries that previously received aid are now self-sufficient.
In his address at the World Economic Forum, Gates plans to dismiss misconceptions about global development and counter the three biggest fallacies: that poor countries are doomed to remain poor, that foreign aid is a waste of money, and that saving lives leads to population growth. Gates will present evidence that poverty rates are declining worldwide and that health is improving, although these trends are not as visible in the media.
The World Bank aims to reduce extreme poverty rates to 3% by 2030, down from 21% in 2010. Gates has previously expressed concern that austerity measures may reduce public financing for curable diseases like HIV, TB, and malaria. He has also called on governments to prioritize aid in their budgets to support the world’s poorest people.