Bill Gates has warned that organisations like his are “absolutely not” prepared to plug the yawning gaps in development aid that will result from funding cuts, including those proposed by President Trump.
Speaking to the Guardian ahead of the UN general assembly meeting, which opens for general debate next week, the billionaire philanthropist said simply: “There’s no way to balance a cut in [a] rich country’s generosity.”
Although it is is the world’s largest private philanthropic organisation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, founded in 2000, spends just over $3bn (£2.25bn) a year on development assistance, Gates said, which is about one-tenth of the US aid budget and almost one-fiftieth of the global aid budget, which stands at $143bn.
“We don’t have some special stash that we keep in case some government is less generous,” he continued. “We’re spending at our maximum capacity because we know that every $1,000 we spend, we’re saving an additional life. So if net, from all governments as a whole, you get big cuts, there’s no other sector that has fair capacity to step up.”