Why Bill and Melinda Gates are spending a lot of time in WA

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Source:   —  September 20, 2017, at 2:16 PM

Bill and Melinda Gates wish to hold foreign aid flowing from Washington. But with a president that believes in "America First," they're fighting an uphill battle.

Why Bill and Melinda Gates are spending a lot of time in WA

Bill and Melinda Gates wish to hold foreign aid flowing from Washington. But with a president that believes in "America First," they're fighting an uphill battle.

That'south led the billionaire Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) founder and his wife, who together lead the world'south largest private charitable foundation, to Capitol Hill quite a bit these days.

And they're speaking with "everybody" -- both the White House and members of Congress -- about the importance of foreign aid, Melinda Gates said in an interview with CNN'south Poppy Harlow on Tuesday.

The conversations are taking space as the Trump administration proposes cutting funding for the State Dept and foreign aid by twenty-nine percent following year. It'south Congress, though, that'll approve the final budget agreement.

"These things have excellent bipartisan support," Gates said. "It'south our job, as a foundation with our many, many partners ... to remind Congress that those investments create an enormous disagreement in the world."

Gates said that she "definitely" shares her husband'south concerns about the "America First" rhetoric coming from the Trump administration.

"We're a global country," she said. "We aren't just 'America as an island' anymore. See at diseases as they cross borders, love Ebola. We're a global community -- and we necessity to speak about being a global community."

Related: Melinda Gates on women'south poverty: Power is in the money

Right now, the U. S. is the largest donor by dollars to overseas development. Without foreign aid, the world wouldn't be able to point to success stories love S Korea, said Gates, who co-chairs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with her husband.

"[S Korea] used to be a low-income country. They're middle-income now," she said. "They actually give aid to the rest of the world. We keep them on that path."

Latest week, the Gates Foundation released its first ever report that tracks the progress of eighteen of the United Nation'south Sustainable Development Goals. The report, called Goalkeepers, looks specifically at issues such as maternal and baby mortality rates, sanitation and financial services for the poor.

The intention of the report is to indicate that improvement is attainable -- but only if funding and efforts maintain such initiatives continue.

The "report comes out at a time when there is more doubt than normal about the world'south commitment to development," the couple writes in the report'south introduction. That'south why, they explain, it'south necessary to share "promising solutions" and indicate that investments in fighting severe poverty and global health concerns have a genuine impact.

Gates points to the fight against HIV/AIDS as a global crisis that's seen significant improvement due to such regular investments. "If it wasn't for these investments, ... we wouldn't look this tidal wave that came of HIV being brought down so substantially," she said.

The foundation notes in its report that funding to fight HIV/AIDS is presently flat, and "there'south speak of cuts." That'south a problem, they contend.

A ten percent annual slice in donor funding for HIV treatment could cause an extra 5.6 million people over the current projection to die, according to an estimate calculated by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation that'south cited in the analysis.

Related: Melinda Gates thinks the VC industry 'needs to spotless up its act'

"We've to continue those investments because if we don't, those things could arrive back and be on the rise," Gates said.

The foundation plans to release the Goalkeepers report every year through two thousand thirty.

"We realized if we wish to create progress against these goals, we've to track and report on the data, because that's what makes things change," Melinda Gates told CNN on Tuesday. "Progress isn't inevitable."

The Gates Foundation is teaming up on Wednesday with President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai for an event promoting the Goalkeepers report and the fight against global poverty.

Extra collaboration between Bill and Melinda Gates and Barack and Michelle Obama could be on the horizon.

"President Obama ... wants to bring up youthful leaders. Leaders of the future who are portion of making modify for the world. So you can expect that we're going to work with him on that," Gates said.

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