Annual update on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Burnet Institute

25 January, 2012

I am writing to share my fourth annual letter about the exciting work our foundation and its partners are doing. Over the last 50 years, the percentage of the population living in poverty has fallen from 40 percent to 15 percent, or just about a billion people. That’s proof that modest investments in the poorest make a huge difference. However, tough economic times are making it difficult for countries to choose between foreign aid spending and domestic priorities, and many people believe that money spent on aid is wasted. My annual letter this year is an argument for making the choice to keep on helping extremely poor people build self-sufficiency.

You can read it at

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. Please let me know what you think. I’d also appreciate if you would forward this out through your own social networks. I’m convinced that when people hear stories of the lives they’ve helped to improve, they want to do more, not less. So the more people we bring into this conversation the better.


Bill Gates Co-chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

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Burnet Institute

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