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Bill Gates: "We need to keep doing what we're doing"

Speaking at LSE, Bill Gates re-affirmed the importance of inspiring people to join the fight against poverty.

Bill GatesThe founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was speaking alongside Professor Hans Rosling as part of the Global Poverty Project’s initiative to help the 1.4 billion people in the world who live in extreme poverty. Addressing the Project’s inaugural Global Poverty Ambassadors, both Gates and Rosling emphasised the importance of good health as a precursor to tackling poverty.

In a lively talk, Hans Rosling, professor of Global Health at the Karolinska Institute and co-founder of Gapminder Foundation, said we need to accept that the world population is set to reach approximately 9 billion and should plan to promote growth and tackle poverty accordingly. But improved health should precede economic growth.

Bill Gates explained the thoughts behind his 2012 annual letter, and how innovation, in areas such as technology and healthcare, will be crucial in tackling poverty. Highlighting successes in fighting polio, Gates said it was vital to ‘keep doing what we’re doing’. He cited the UK as having a good track record of giving aid but also recognised that the economic downturn may lead to questions about the importance of helping those overseas. People need to be reminded that donations and aid have a significant effect.

Re-iterating Bill Gates’ sentiments, Hans Rosling said that tackling poverty required “hearts, brain and wallets working together.”

You can watch a video of this lecture on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VFIRtTcHfvM

To read Bill Gates' annual letter, please visit: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/annual-letter/2012/Pages/home-en.aspx

To learn more about the Global Poverty Ambassadors programme, please visit: http://www.globalpovertyproject.com/pages/2012ambassadors