Gates foundation is making a $300m pledge to reduce poverty in Tanzania

The Gates foundation has announced its intention to commit not more than $300 milllion to Tanzania’s health and poverty reduction programs.

The level of poverty in Tanzania is high, with poverty more prevalent in rural areas; where over 80% of the country’s poor and extremely poor people live.

In a recent Mainland poverty assessment by the World Bank, it was revealed that, in 2015, 28.2% of the population (12 million people) were living in basic needs poverty, compared to 34% in 2007; and that 10% of the population (4 million people) were living in extreme poverty, compared to 12% in 2007.; adding that recent economic growth is believed to have trickled down to Tanzania’s poorest, the World Bank report emphasizes that approximately 70% of Tanzanians continue to live on less than US$2.00 a day.

While speaking to reuters, the Microsoft crooner, Bill Gates noted that ” with Tanzania as a good example, some countries have made good progress in the reduction of childhood deaths and reduction in poverty”.

Data on poverty prevalence for Zanzibar show that the basic needs poverty rate declined from 49% in 2005 (54% in rural areas) to 44% in 2010 (51% in rural areas), while food poverty declined only marginally from 13.2% in 2004/2005 to 13% in 2010.

In a report while quoting UNICEF, Tanzania is said to have made great efforts in alleviation of poverty especially in the areas of education and health care. However, child poverty is still an important issue in the country.

The U.S government had earlier pledged a $526million aid package in May to support AIDS Relief programme in the country.

HIV at 17% rate is said to be the major cause of death in the country. Over 637,875 people are currently receiving HIV treatment; 74,430 pregnant women have received medication to reduce transmission to their babies through PEPFAR since 2010. 1,155,833 men have been circumcised to prevent new HIV infections since 2010.

High population growth, urban immigration have been cited as major challenges that affects the country’s health sector over the last year. Poverty and malnutrition are also widespread, affecting the health of many 9 out of 10 people in Tanzania live on less than a dollar a day and poor nutrition among children is a major concern.

Lack of infrastructure to provide energy to a huge part of the population contributes to the rate of poverty in the country.