And Melinda Gates included a pointed remark for President Donald Trump, writing that the duty of a US president is to role model American values and that she wishes "our president would treat people, and especially women, with more respect when he speaks and tweets".
In 2018, Bill and Melinda Gates are doing something different with their annual letter.
In their tenth annual update for the Gates Foundation, the world's largest charitable entity, the couple said that the American president's plan to "impose severe cuts" on foreign aid would affect the foundation's work.
Bill Gates also expressed concern about the president's "America First" worldview. The questions either come from journalists implying Bill is the one making the decisions, or female entrepreneurs wanting to know how to better work with their husbands. She said the Trump administration's decision past year to expand a ban prohibiting U.S. aid to any health organisations that provide or discuss abortion in family planning had caused "chaos" in the field - forcing them to stall their work as they figured out how to adhere to the rules. Specifically, student aid programs need to work better for low-income students, as some 2 million students who are eligible for aid don't even apply because the process is burdensome. My view is that engaging with the world has proven over time to benefit everyone, including Americans, more than withdrawing does. "I wish our president would treat people, and especially women, with more respect when he speaks and Tweets".
"It's always been important to us that we are equal partners in our foundation's work".
She added that President Trump "has a responsibility to set a good example and empower all Americans".
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She said she would meet the NCA on Thursday following a week of talks with charity bosses, regulators and experts. Oxfam's corporate partners, including Mark & Spencer, Heathrow Airport and Waterstones, are asking questions.
Melinda Gates, who left her job at Microsoft to raise their three children before turning to the foundation full-time, has lately embraced her role as a public figure more boldly. The scale of its giving highlights the trend of philanthrocapitalism, in which billionaires - from the Gates' to the Zuckerbergs - give charity through foundations that may have little oversight, regulation, or public input due to the financial power they wield. The Gates' letter, released early Tuesday, includes responses to questions such as why they work with corporations, whether they're imposing their values on other cultures and why the foundation doesn't give more money in the United States.
The 10 questions in the letter touch on a variety of topics ranging from education and climate change, to politics and partnership.
The group has spent over $15 billion on vaccines since its inception, she adds, a main reason why the worldwide childhood morbidity rate has been cut in half since 2000. The number of children who die has dropped from nearly 10 million in 2000 to 5 million past year.
They both responded that it's unfair that their wealth opens doors that are closed for most people. "Although we've had some success, I think it would be hard to argue at this point that we made the world focus too much on health, education, or poverty", she said.
On the question of philanthropy at home, the Gateses acknowledge that the $500million they spend in the United States each year - mostly on education - pales compared to the $4billion the foundation spends in developing countries. There's another issue at the heart of this question. "Cash-strapped school districts are more likely to divert money and talent toward ideas they think we will fund", Melinda said.