New York Times

Bill and Melinda Gates created their foundation in 2000. Over the past 15 years, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has grown to be the largest in the world, giving away $34 billion and transforming public health and the fight against poverty. Columnist Nicholas Kristof asks what the Gates' have learned, what mistakes they have made — and what they argue about.

"In all of history, humans have eradicated only one disease affecting them, smallpox. Bill and Melinda Gates foresee eradicating four more in the next 15 years: polio and Guinea worm disease and, for the other two, perhaps elephantiasis and blinding trachoma. They say, quite plausibly, that we’ll be poised to eradicate malaria soon afterward and to make enormous progress against AIDS, too. 

"By my conservative back-of-envelope calculations, the world has saved more than 33 million children’s lives since the foundation was established (although obviously the foundation doesn’t get all the credit). And Bill and Melinda Gates foresee the world saving 61 million children’s lives over the next 15 years with the right investments, as child death rates drop more quickly than they ever have in the history of the world."


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