Promises that we have to keep in 2016

We are living exceptional moments. It seems like, day after day, we always have news about crisis appearing everyday because of migrations, changeableness economy, safety o even the climate change. But a common agent of all of this complex and without precedents challenges are the poverty: If we eradicate it, it would be much easier get through them.

There are some good reasons to be optimistic about the progress in the reduction of inequality. From the beginning of this century, some important changes have been carried out to make possible everyone has the opportunity of having a health and productive life. Maternal mortality has been reduced by almost half, infant mortality and malaria were reduced by half, and extreme poverty was reduced to less than a half. Last year, the entire world was committed to finish this task.

The main element of The Millenium Development Goals, agreed by 193 Member States of United Nation on September, was combat poverty in all its shapes and everywhere until 2030. We are sure that this is not only possible, but in this time we will see advances, that will offer people of other countries some opportunities, that they did not have before. In fact, we believe poor people could improve their lives faster in the next 15 years, than in any other moment of the history.

But even when the progress is possible, it is not guarantee. To success we need the strong and politic willpower, international cooperation and the human talent, as the message, that we bring to our meetings and compromises in the “Davos World’s Economic Forum” this week. On our part, “Bill Foundation” and “Melinda Gates” will make stress in the most needed areas, and they will take a chance, that others could not, or do not want to do. This year, our efforts will focus on three big areas.

Gates Foundation

In the first place, we will continue supporting institutions that helped us get where we are now. Since 2002, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria paid in full an amount of human and financial resources, that have not been seen before, to combat infectious diseases, that affect  poor people disproportionately. Through the supply of medicines, the training of nurses and doctors, and the improve of health care, Global Fund helped 17 million lives. It is quite an achievement. We will celebrate a donor’s conference and it will be the opportunity to help build a better world. We have to make the most of it, not only to save up to eight million lives, but to support medical systems in countries with low incomes, so we could reduce the risk of future health crisis.

In the same way, from the beginning of the decade, vaccination against infectious diseases saved almost four million lives. Thanks to the work of “Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance”. Gavi and its associates are in position to immunize other 300 million people in the next five years, and help more million children and young people to survive and grow up, what is going to give a boost to the economy of developing countries.

“The sad reality is, that currently financing for research and development is not enough”

Secondly, women and young girls will be at the hearth of our efforts.

Nowadays, the world is a better place for them than any other moment of the history. But there is still a very long way. Women and young girls need a better access to health care, specially services of family planning; more financial opportunities; and more decision power about their own lives (what, at the same time, demand more social participation and public leadership). Empower women and young girls to turn their lives into one of the best investment that we can do. Improve their health and welfare, to guarantee them an access to quality education and save them from an economic potencial, are the essential steps to create communities and countries more prosperous. But we have to learn more about it, in order to success and leaving behind centuries of gender inequality. We need more support for this agenda.

The world’s largest global conference on the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women in the last decade will be celebrated in May. It is the opportunity for the world demand more actions and donors show their compromise.

Thirdly, we will invest in innovation.

The scientific and technological advances (from vaccines and more resistant crops to cheaper smart phones and tablets) are between the main factors to reduce poverty. These last couple of weeks, the world show, that it is prepared to invest in finding news reliable, economical and ecologic energy sources. This is one of the manners more important to help poor people and face the climate change. At the same time,innovations in medical care achieved, that the world is close to eradicate poliomyelitis, and we hope to see great advances with a new triple therapy that can eradicate the elephantiasis, a desease that affects 120 million of people. 

*Fuente: El País