The annual Gates Letter was released today, highlighting some of the current and popular ‘myths’ of development. These myths include:
“Poor countries are doomed to stay poor,”
“Foreign aid is a big waste,” and
“Saving lives leads to overpopulation.”
The justification for this myth busting, simplified for easy conveyance to readers who may not be as well-versed in development jargon, agrees with much of the current data of growth and aid from the experts, at least from the United States. What this letter succeeds at is putting a (perhaps overly) optimistic spin on the recent history and future of the ‘bottom billion.’ It asserts that aid and development programs have been good for the least developed countries, and that prospects are continually looking up.
The letter also includes a few cool graphics such as this one on the difference between GDP distribution between 1960 and 2012-
You can also check out what some development experts thought of the letter and the accuracy of the debunked myths.