Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates believes the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has thwarted the United Nations' sustainable development goals, or SDG initiatives, for the short term, which could have major implications around the world.
"The war in Ukraine will end. I certainly understand the resources being expended there, it's a terrible tragedy. That tragedy has huge impact on developing countries the cost of food, fertilizer — you know all these things are going to kill as many people outside of Ukraine as people in Ukraine," said Gates on Monday, while speaking at the Lowy Institute, an independent think tank based in Australia.
From Gates' perspective, the war has diverted attention and resources away from 17 SDG focus points — such as alleviating poverty, eradicating hunger, and ensuring affordable clean energy by 2030.
"So war, in terms of humans wasting resources to go backwards, war is top of the list and the sooner we can bring it to an end the better. The development goals, the U.N. set goals for 2030, the so-called sustainable development goals, we won't achieve those goals," lamented Gates.
The billionaire elaborated on his comment about the Russia-Ukraine war — which reached its 11-month anniversary Tuesday — having a dispiriting effect on SDG initiatives:
"We used to have 10% of all kids dying before the age of 5. That was over 10 million at the turn of the century, and now that's been cut to 5% of kids, less than 5 million a year. The goal we had was by 2030 was to cut that in half again; and we will miss that by probably eight years, and it's because of the war," Gates said.
Gates recently topped the Chronicle of Philanthropy's 2022 list of the 10 largest charitable gifts announced by individuals or their foundations — at a staggering sum of $9.3 billion.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was reportedly gifted $5 billion from Gates, as a means of backing the grantmaker's efforts with global health, development, policy and advocacy, and U.S. education.
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