Wednesday 17 January 2018

Aid cuts will hurt poor, warns Gates

Lesley Wroughton

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates told G20 leaders yesterday to protect aid budgets, saying cuts would not only hurt the poor but also undermine innovations in areas such as health and farming.

The Microsoft Corp co-founder, who has committed to give the majority of his wealth to charity, is the first businessman to be invited to address G20 leaders.

Mr Gates urged the G20 to show leadership by coming up with a comprehensive approach to improve the lives of the poor.

"Leadership from the G20 is critically important, especially in these tough economic times," Mr Gates told G20 leaders.

"The world will not balance its books by cutting back on aid, but it will do irreparable damage to global stability, to the growth of the global economy and to livelihoods of millions," he added.

Congress has already cut some $8bn (€5.8bn) off US President Barack Obama's request for the State Department and US foreign aid for last year, and are proposing to slice another $8.6bn (€6.2bn) in 2012.

Mr Gates has proposed taxes on financial transactions, aviation and shipping fuels, and tobacco as ways to raise new development resources.

Irish Independent

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