Three Myths: The Annual Gates Letter

Each year, Bill and Melinda Gates issue their annual co-authored letter.  This year’s letter, “Three Myths That Block Access for the Poor,” addresses three of the biggest myths about poverty.  These myths cause people not to act.  They cause people to take the outlook of, “Well, its not getting better, why bother?”  In their annual Gates letter, Bill and Melinda address these myths and make their prediction for the future.  

By almost any measure, the world is better than it has ever been. People are living longer, healthier lives. Many nations that were aid recipients are now self-sufficient. You might think that such striking progress would be widely celebrated, but in fact, Melinda and I are struck by how many people think the world is getting worse. The belief that the world can’t solve extreme poverty and disease isn’t just mistaken. It is harmful. That’s why in this year’s letter we take apart some of the myths that slow down the work. The next time you hear these myths, we hope you will do the same. – Bill Gates

bill and melinda gates annual letterThere are three misconceptions about global poverty that the Gates address in their letter this year:

  1. Poor countries are doomed to stay poor

  2. Foreign aid is a big waste

  3. Saving lives leads to overpopulation

bill and melinda gates annual letter


This year’s letter takes a different approach.  Bill and Melinda are addressing and “debunking” these three myths with compelling facts and figures to prove their statements.  Most individuals in the United States do not realize exactly how much money is spent on foreign aid by the government.


$30 billion dollars


The amount of foreign aid spent is approximately 1% of the federal budget.  And, no, that isn’t a typo.  

Bill Gates believes that by 2035 there will be very few poor countries left in the world.  

I encourage you to take a minute or two to read Bill and Melinda’s annual letter.  Put the bad news in context.  You can help create a world where extreme poverty is an exception, not a rule.  Children should all have the same chance to survive and thrive, no matter where they call home.

bill and melinda gates annual letter

[php snippet=7]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.