Bill Gates on the bad conditions in the middle income countries

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Bill Gates speaks to Bloomberg’s Erik Schatzker on the growing issues issues of persistent inequality in middle income countries.

Bill Gates on Global Inequality, Climate Change and Big Tech


Bill Gates Foundation is zeroing in on inequality is the greatest obstacle to creating a decent life for people in the world’s poorest countries, why inequality.

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We take a lot for granted in the United States and other wealthy countries. The fact that we have enough to eat, the fact that children overwhelmingly survive, and their nutrition is such that they're able to be educated and live a full life. Those things are not yet universal. In fact, over 5 million children are die.

Death in middle income countries

And that shouldn't happen. We've made progress it used to be 10 million a year would die. But the the things that we think every human should have, are, are not yet available. So inequality is a more dramatic and start form when we look globally.

Now you're optimistic in part because of the amount of progress that's already been made, right?

That's absolutely right. Because of new vaccines that have been financed, so that they can go to all the world's children, these death rates have come down quite dramatically

And living conditions have improved.

Absolutely. You know, they're not at the level of the US and other rich countries, but 50 years ago, there were poor countries and rich countries today. Most of the people on earth live in middle income countries. So the you know, Mexico, China, Brazil, these countries, you get you do get enough to eat and you do have a reasonable education system and the girls get a chance to go to high school. There still are parts of the low middle income countries and support countries where anybody visits will see such stark deprivation that they, you know, feel just from a human moral point of view that that the slight amounts we spend to help with that, that we ought to maintain or increase that generosity.

Why are gender and geography the two factors most responsible for the inequality that we're talking about that you've observed and gather data on?

Data on middle income countries

Well, the the numbers tell that story, if you're born in Finland, I, you're a fiftieth as likely to die as a child than if you're born in [inaudbile] or a lot of sub Saharan African countries. That factor of 50 you know, that shouldn't take place the world is rich enough that the basic medicines, nothing fancy, nothing too expensive, should get to all those children. Likewise, in a lot of countries, girls are still not getting nearly the education or the opportunities that men are. And it's known that when you do that, right, it really uplifts everyone, and so it you know, the country first you'd hope to be born in a country that's reasonably well off. And second, you're going to have more opportunities still if you're a boy,

You're absolutely right. The world is more than rich enough to narrow at the very least, the gap in living conditions, mortality rates, infant mortality rates between the world's wealthiest countries and the world's poorest countries. What would you say Bill is the single greatest obstacle to progress on that front?


Well, if the people whose children were dying or had malnutrition, were not in middle income countries, but in your neighborhood, then you would immediately you know, organise a group and step up and, you know, make sure the problems eliminated. So the challenge is that people don't get an opportunity to go to these countries and and see that deprivation.

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