Summary of Let’s Create the Third Wave of Poverty Reduction

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The mission to reduce extreme poverty has been largely successful. Two “great waves” – one in China and one in India – lifted some 1.2 billion people out of harsh living conditions. Using available data, Bill Gates pinpoints where poverty will be most severe in 2050 and what needs to happen to create the third great wave to end it. His presentation will help humanitarian workers and NGOs identify where aid is most urgently needed and will have most impact. 

About the Speaker

Bill Gates is a co-founder of Microsoft and of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates Notes is his personal blog.



People living in extreme poverty – that is, those subsisting on a daily income of $1.90 or less – are overwhelmed by the fight for survival. Often the only food they eat is what they grow themselves. A poor harvest or a sick animal can thrust a family into crisis. Happily, extreme poverty has fallen from 36% of the global population to just 9% since 1990. In absolute numbers, some 1.2 billion people have escaped extreme poverty. But the ultimate goal is for families not just to rise out of poverty but to reach self-sufficiency, which helps countries to build a middle class and to achieve economic growth.

The eradication of extreme poverty to date transpired in “two great waves...

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