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How Much Do We Spend on Foreign Aid? Much Less Than You Might Think, by Bill Gates


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Five thousand dollars may sound expensive, but keep in mind that U.S. government agencies typically value the life of an American at several million dollars.

Also remember that healthy children do more than merely survive. They go to school and eventually work, and over time they make their countries more self-sufficient. This is why I say aid is such a bargain.

The U.S. government spends more than twice as much on farm subsidies as on health aid. It spends more than 60 times as much on the military. The next time someone tells you we can trim the budget by cutting aid, I hope you will ask whether it will come at the cost of more people dying.

In the letter, I take on two other myths:

  • Poor countries are doomed to stay poor.
  • Foreign aid is just a big waste.

And Melinda writes about one that touches on her work on reproductive health:

  • If fewer poor children die, it will lead to overpopulation.

Bill Gates' letter here:  http://annualletter.gatesfoundation.org/?cid=bg_li_ll0_012111#section=home

"The U.S. government spends more than twice as much on farm subsidies as on health aid. It spends more than 60 times as much on the military."

How can we stop this?

Because he's right, aid is more important.

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