File. Bill and Melinda Gates
INTERNATIONAL – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched its third annual Goalkeepers Data Report on Tuesday, calling attention to the persistent global inequality.

The report said solid progress on health and development has continued around the world. Even in the worst-off parts of low-income and low-middle-income countries, more than 99 percent of communities have seen an improvement in child mortality and schooling.

However, despite the progress, persistent gaps in opportunity mean that nearly half a billion people, or about one in every 15 of global population, still do not have access to basic health and education, according to the report.

Gaps between countries, districts, and boys and girls prove that the world's investments in development aren't reaching everyone.

Using new sub-national data, the report uncovered the vast inequalities within countries that are masked by averages.

Such inequalities remain a major barrier to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the report said. Bill Gates and Melinda Gates called for a new approach to development to address persistent inequality, targeting the poorest people in the countries and districts that need to make up the most ground, according to the report.

"Governments should prioritize primary healthcare to deliver a health system that works for the poorest, digital governance to ensure that governments are responsive to their least-empowered citizens, and more support for farmers to help them adapt to climate change's worst effects," the report said.

Goalkeepers is a campaign launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate progress toward achieving the SDGs, also known as Global Goals, a universal call to action to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and fix climate change.

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