Bill Gates has called for foreign aid spending to be increased
The Microsoft founder said international development budgets “should go up” and praised the European Union as a “terrific” partner during a trip to Brussels.
Mr Gates, a self-made business magnate who has donated billions to charity, was in the Belgian capital representing the foundation he runs with his wife Melinda.
He was speaking after Brussels unveiled a new plan designed to pump billions more into Africa to boost the continent’s lagging economic development.
Last month express.co.uk revealed how the EU pledged an astonishing £4.2 billion in aid, mostly to African countries, in just one month despite concerns about corruption.
The Microsoft founder said people are not made aware of the successes of aid spending
EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said aid spending was not 'just charity'
But globally foreign aid spending is facing an uncertain future, with Mr Trump a fierce critic and Theresa May coming under growing pressure to cut Britain’s budget too.
Speaking in Brussels, Mr Gates said development cash had achieved “miraculous things” including nearly wiping out Polio, but that often voters back home were left in the dark about its successes.
In my view aid should go up
He said: “Certainly foreign aid always has the challenge that, even when it’s doing miraculous things, it’s far away.
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“So really telling the voters whether it’s in the US or Europe the good news about the progress we’re making, that’s always a huge challenge.
“I think in the US today like many countries we really need to get the word out because the budget is very tight.”
In a veiled reference to Mr Trump he added: “In my view aid should go up. I don’t have a prediction but I think now the people are looking at priorities.”
“Whenever you have new leaders in any country they’re going to do that. This is a very important time to be making the case and to have other countries encouraging each other to stay generous in decisions, because that’s what gives us the critical mass of generosity.
“We think there’s a strong case for that continuing and we’ll do best to get that word out.”
UK Foreign Aid: Where did it all go?
Mon, January 16, 2017
Public mood changes following scandals over how the money is allocated. This is where the UK Foreign Aid was being spent in 2015.
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India = £150.4m
Mr Gates also praised the EU for doing “great work to see Africa develop” following a meeting with the bloc’s foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini.
Speaking after him the eurocrat insisted that Brussels aid spending “isn’t just generosity” but is designed to provide long-term solutions to challenges like the migrant crisis.
She said: “In Europe there’s this awareness that this isn’t just generosity and charity, this is an investment in our own security.
This is the way in which we have to try and tackle this. We are realising that this is the way of managing and preventing problems for us.