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Progress on global poverty and disease at risk, Gates says


LONDON, Sept 13 (REUTERS) – Proposed United States budget cuts could put in jeopardy great progress in reducing global poverty and disease and lead to 5 million more deaths from AIDS alone, the philanthropist Bill Gates warned on Wednesday.

Gates, whose Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a major provider of global health and development funding, said there was currently “more doubt than usual about the world’s commitment to development”.

A global health report by the foundation, co-authored by the Gates and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington (IHME), analysed progress against diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

It also tracked rates of poverty, maternal and infant death, access to contraception, sanitation and other development issues. Forecasting good and bad future scenarios, it found millions of lives hanging in the balance.

In a telephone briefing about the findings, Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation, said remarkable progress had been made in recent decades but that shifting priorities, instability and potential budget cuts could lead the world to turn away, jeopardising the gains.

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