Saturday, October 16, 2010

It's Not All Doom and Gloom...

Melinda Gates tells us why the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the ONE Campaign focus on positive stories. We are so often bogged down with stories of death, disease, and hunger in Africa. It can be overwhelming. But what people so often miss is that in the last decade there have been great successes throughout the world in reducing hunger, combating AIDS, and improving maternal health. We like to think of our blog of a celebration of the progress that has occurred over the last decade. From business entrepreneurs finding innovative ways to sell their products, to mothers knowing their children won't be ravaged by polio, to governments working hard to expel corruption, we want these stories to be what you think of when you think of these nations.

Here are some of the impressive achievements of the last ten years:

  • Between 2001 and 2006, malaria deaths in Eritrea were reduced by 80%
  • A marked increase in condom usage for men between 15-24
  • Measles has nearly been eliminated in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Guinea and Niger have seen primary school enrollment rates double since 2000.
  • Increased access to microfinancing throughout the world
  • AIDS therapy treatment coverage has risen from 1% to 88% between 2003 and 2007
And these are just some of the many, many successes. Yes, there is a lot of work ahead. And yes, there is still unbelievable poverty. But these stories show that there is much to be joyful for.

-Corey Cox

SOURCE: The ONE Blog, World Bank Blog