If there is one thing that would give the human race a better future, it would be providing access to free birth control to the world's poorest women. The cost effectiveness of this approach is probably better than any other thing that could be done for the world's poor. Even vaccination, cost effective as it is, may not rival birth control. After all, you can vaccinate a woman's ten kids, but when the famine hits, half of them are likely to starve to death, because she can only realistically feed half of them.
I'm glad to see the Gates foundation take this one on. A couple billion bucks applied to getting birth control meds and education into Senegal, Peru, Kazakhstan, etc. could make a real difference. And the Gates Foundation is one of the few philanthropic units with those kind of deep pockets. World population growth in Europe and the USA has slowed to a crawl, but in the poorest nations with the least food, it continues to soar.
Yeah, the Catholic Church hierarchy will tie itself into knots. But the Catholic Church hierarchy is made up of males who have never even had sex. Watching their children starve to death, we can safely say, is not an experience that ANY of them have undergone. If that offends any Catholics, sorry. I'm not saying it out of hatred of Catholics. I happen to have an aunt who has been a Catholic nun for around 40 years. Put her in charge of the Catholic Church, and the opposition to birth control would end, tomorrow.
Of course, if you happen to have no "Y" chromosomes, they don't let you be Pope. That's a shame. My aunt would have made a good one.