Bill Gates’ pledge at Davos of $10 billion over the coming decade to help develop vaccines and distribute them to children in the developing world prompted the Wall Street Journal Europe to ask a number of prominent figures in the philanthropy or development world how they would spend that amount. The responses ranged from carbon-capture toilets to medical research prizes.
It’s a large sum, of course, but most felt that it wouldn’t be nearly enough to address the challenges they had in mind. Sir Percy Barnevik, chairman of Hand in Hand International, would spend the money on creating jobs as the best route to ending poverty. While Western governments give this top priority, he pointed out, it is a low priority for aid programmes. Mo Ibrahim would spend the money on developing national or regional statistics offices in Africa to allow for better policy-making and interventions.