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Hunger

Bill Gates and SPD make plans to fight hunger

Bill Gates (center) has called on Europe and Germany to continue fighting hunger, even while dealing with the euro crisis. Gates made the comments to Vorwärts, a magazine run by the Social Democratic Party.

The Microsoft founder detailed recent gains in fighting hunger, disease and poverty when making his to case to continue working toward those goals. The billionaire philanthropist also met with Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner of the Christian Democrats.

"Germany plays a deciding role in guaranteeing that this is achieved, that we arrive at this success," he told the magazine, which translates to English as Forward.

The Social Democrats (SPD) pledged to support the efforts of Gates, their guest on Monday at a party meeting in Potsdam, near Berlin. Party Chairman Sigmar Gabriel (above right) pledged 0.7 percent of gross domestic product to development programs should the SPD manage to take the parliament back from Angela Merkel's conservative coalition this year. Additional funds could come from a tax on financial transactions.

Through his foundation, Gates has funded several programs toward development and relief in Africa. He criticized several countries for having reduced aid during the financial crisis.

mkg/dr (kna, dpa, AFP, dapd)