October 15, 2010 | By Bill Gates
Real Lives. Real Progress.
Optimism is always in short supply, but it’s needed to sustain efforts to improve global health and support development. Fortunately, thanks to development aid, reasons for optimism abound. To help highlight them, Melinda and I are actively involved in the Living Proof campaign.
Melinda and I are heading to London in a couple of days to thank the UK for its history of generosity and remarkable commitment to foreign aid. We want to share the proof that investments in global health and development are saving lives, improving livelihoods, and building prosperous societies.
In the last 50 years, child deaths in the developing world have been cut by more than 50 percent; polio cases have been reduced by 99 percent; measles deaths in Africa dropped by 92 percent between 2000 and 2008; and malaria cases have been reduced by 50 percent in 38 countries between 2000 and 2008. Through our work, especially our visits to the field, Melinda and I have been deeply touched by personal stories of lives changed for the better. We have seen clear evidence that targeted foreign investments are saving lives, preventing and curing disease, and helping people to lift themselves and their communities out of poverty.
Earlier this year, we transferred the Living Proof campaign to the ONE Campaign. Living Proof highlights the positive impact foreign aid is making. It aims to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions about development assistance, using a series of success stories that will galvanize support, energize activists and ultimately inspire action. With the message that effective aid in global health and development is working, the campaign will share the proof that smart aid is having a lasting impact on people’s lives and livelihoods and advancing real progress in developing countries.
ONE is expanding Living Proof to reach new audiences in more countries and to highlight the lasting impact of European investments. On October 18, the ONE Campaign is launching Living Proof in London. Both Melinda and I will be there to share stories about real lives and real progress being made around the world.
For us, these success stories have a profound impact on the way we look at our investments, and we believe that telling these stories to as many people as possible can help change the way they look at what we can achieve in the future. Together with ONE and our partners, we want to get these stories and facts out and inform the conversation around the opportunities in global health and development.
We are confident that spreading the word about what’s working is one of the most important things we can do to motivate governments and others to invest in effective development aid.