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Bill Gates Urges Europe to “Maintain Commitment to the World’s Poorest"


Gates illustrates how smart investments in health and development are working

BARCELONA, Spain -- At a press briefing in Barcelona today, Bill Gates praised European leadership for delivering real progress and measurable outcomes in global health and development.

“This is a critical year for development,” said Gates. “As governments across Europe face economic uncertainty, leaders must be even smarter about how their resources are used and maintain strong commitments to the world’s poor through targeted investments. We cannot use the financial problems in the rich world as a reason to fall short on promises made to help the poorest. Instead, we should challenge ourselves to support the right investments, and to focus on solutions that show the clearest, most defined, positive results.”

Gates acknowledged Europe’s role in global development and Spain’s leadership specifically during its European Union presidency, which included efforts to develop a unified European plan to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Gates also said it was “disappointing” to learn of Spain’s announced spending cuts of €800 million in official development assistance (ODA) over the next two years as part of austerity measures to decrease budget deficits. While he welcomed the government’s commitment to return to their ODA target of 0.7 percent of Gross National Income by 2015, he stressed the importance that all political parties in Spain sustain the commitment to reach this target.

The Institute for Global Health of Barcelona hosted the press briefing in CosmoCaixa Barcelona, the Science Museum of “la Caixa” Foundation.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.


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