he Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has published its annual letter for 2015 Thursday, and it paints an optimistic vision of our future.
The letter focuses on several crucial areas in which humanity could improve in the next 15 years: Health, farming, banking, and education. And though the current situation in all of these, especially if you look at the poorest countries on Earth, can be seen as bleak, Gates argues right now is the time of opportunity, not despair.
“The lives of people in poor countries will improve faster in the next 15 years than at any other time in history. And their lives will improve more than anyone else’s,” Gates wrote in the letter.
One of the breakthroughs the Foundation anticipates in the near future is the eradication of several deadly diseases.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Gates said that, when it comes to diseases like polio and Guinea worm, the world will have a “much better eradication track record in these 15 years than in all of human history.” He predicts elephantiasis, river blindness, and blinding trachoma will be gone as well.
“We won’t be able to completely eradicate malaria by 2030, but we will have all the tools we need to do so
“We won’t be able to completely eradicate malaria by 2030, but we will have all the tools we need to do so,” he writes.
Speaking with AP, Melinda Gates highlighted another goal: Cutting in half the number of worldwide deaths for children under 5. It was achieved between 1990 and now, and doing it again would bring the death rate to one child in 40 over the next decade and a half.
“Sometimes these things don’t make the headlines, but they should,” she said.
When it comes to farming, the Foundation predicts a dramatic increase in yields on African farms, which could lead to Africa being able to feed itself by 2030.
The letter also highlights improvements in mobile banking, which could see two billion people getting access to a bank account, as well as other financial services, such as credit, insurance and interest-bearing savings in the next 15 years. And education, Gates hopes, will drastically improve in poor countries in the near future, thanks in part to online classes being made available there.
To achieve all these goals, the letter asks those interested to sign up the Global Citizen initiative. It aims to increase the visibility of the issues outlined above, and inform people on how they can help those in need, as well as connect with others who care about similar issues.