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Bill Gates Talks to TIME About the Three Myths of Global Aid

Science & Space

It’s easy to get fed up when you’re trying to save the world. Progress can be slow, setbacks are constant and few people appreciate exactly what you’re doing. Bill Gates understands that better than most. Having spent the past 13 years battling poverty, hunger and disease around the world through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he has a right good record of success to point to, but public misconceptions persist.

In their 2014 annual letter, both Bill and Melinda Gates take on what they call the three great global-aid myths: that poor countries will always be poor; that foreign aid is a waste, with money inevitably vanishing into the pockets of corrupt officials or being misspent by inept bureaucracies; and that saving lives in the developing world will only lead to overpopulation.

The myths persist despite the fact that Africa is experiencing something of a boom time. Demographers…

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