“Poor countries are doomed to stay poor.” That’s a myth Bill Gates passionately debunks. The founder of Microsoft, one of the richest men in the world and, today, co-founder – with his wife Melinda – of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates has released a letter that explains why pessimism about the future of poor countries holds back their development.

In previous years the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation annual letter discussed the foundation’s work. In the 2014 edition of the letter, the Gateses chose instead to focus on three major global myths, erroneous ideas held by many in the world that hold back the upliftment of poor people everywhere.

The letter is in three parts, challenging three persistent myths about global poverty: that poor countries are doomed to stay poor, that foreign aid is a big waste, and that saving lives leads to overpopulation. Read the annual letter on the Gates Foundation website.

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