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United Press International
Bill Gates urges increased government aid

January 24, 2012
United Press International - January 24, 2012

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- U.S. philanthropist Bill Gates implored lawmakers Tuesday for increased financial aid to developing countries.

In his annual letter on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, excerpted by Politico, Gates stressed innovations that can bolster development and improve the quality of life in the world's poorest countries.

"Throughout my careers in software and philanthropy, a recurring theme has been that innovation is the key to improving the world. If we invest relatively modest amounts, many more poor farmers will be able to feed their families," Gates wrote. "If we don't, one in seven people will continue living needlessly on the edge of starvation." Gates, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, also detailed the need for ongoing support to curtail AIDS and other global health issues: "The cost of keeping a patient on AIDS drugs has been coming down, and it looks like getting it to $300 per patient per year could be achievable. That will mean every $300 that governments invest in the Global Fund will put another person on treatment for a year. Every $300 that's not forthcoming will represent a person taken off treatment. � I believe that if people understood the choice, they would ask their government to save more lives." The full text of the letter was to be released Tuesday night by Politico.