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As the world economic crisis seeps into its fifth year, philanthropist Bill Gates is more worried about government financial support for developing country programs today than he was after the crash.

He took those concerns to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland in January, where he asked wealthy donors and governments to at least keep up the funding on certain core efforts.

Not expecting the same levels of aid that were made available during the “boom” years between 2002 and 2008, Gates says modest increases to sustain current programs are crucial. Those with AIDS and tuberculosis, for example, still need drugs. Vaccines and anti-malaria bed nets are still necessary.

“These are tough economic times,” he said at the WEF, “but that is no excuse for cutting aid to the world’s poorest.”

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which he founded in 1994, has contributed some $26 billion to health development and education projects, and Gates is excited by such things as a drop in the number of new polio cases (which he intends to eradicate) from 350 thousand in 1998 to just over one thousand in 2010.

“We make mistakes, we have dead ends, but enough of it works,” says Gates, who anticipates many more success just around the corner, but only if funding does not give out.

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