Progress in fighting poverty and disease may soon stall, and could even reverse, after nearly two decades of progress, Bill and Melinda Gates warn.
More people are being born in the world's poorest countries, which could halt the decline in the number of extremely poor people and possibly even cause the number to rise, the billionaire philanthropists wrote in the Gates Foundation's second "Goalkeepers Data Report." That would overshadow the fact that more than 1 billion people have lifted themselves out of poverty since 2000.
Despite the worrisome outlook, they're optimistic that investing in the young people can help avoid it. Yet this comes as President Donald Trump has vowed to slash foreign aid and nationalism spreads through Europe. The Gates Foundation still has "a lot of concerns" about foreign aid, Bill Gates told reporters on a briefing call.
"In the United States, we are very thankful that the Congress has maintained these things are priorities, despite the executive branch recommending very substantial cuts," he said.
In its second year, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation produced the report with the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation to track progress on 18 data points from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. They released it Tuesday as the U.N. General Assembly convenes. They released it Tuesday as the United Nations General Assembly convenes.