Photo: Bill Gates Angers Many In Peru After Saying Other Countries are More in Need
Microsoft founder Bill Gates recently made a number of people angry when he stated that aid agencies should be concentrating on the poorest countries in the world, not those like Peru, which he said actually has a median income of about $10,000 (adjusting for the price of goods), making it a median-income country.
While Gates was not necessarily incorrect, it did not stop politicians and columnists in Peru from attacking, saying that while Peru may be wealthier than at least half of the countries of the world it still needs help from aid agencies.
Gates made the comments during an interview with Spain’s El País, and stated that the aid agencies should really be looking to help the world’s poorest countries and not those of median income who already have the ability to pull themselves up and solve basic problems such as hunger.
While Peru has made great strides in recent years, there are many who say comments like Gates’ infer that Peru no longer needs assistance.
Since it began in 1994, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s total grant commitments had reached just over $26 billion as on September 2011.
The foundation’s site reads:
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.