Bill Gates said on Wednesday he would donate $20 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to address the “enormous global setbacks” facing the world.
Gates said in a statement that the foundation, which he started with his ex-wife, Melinda French Gates, in 2000, now seeks to spend $9 billion a year to fund innovations and causes that prevent pandemics, reduce child deaths, eradicate disease, tackle climate change and achieve gender equality.
“These innovations won’t arrive in time to completely avoid problems, but the faster we move, the less people will suffer,” Gates said. “For many people, myself included, this is the most concrete way to contribute, even if it seems small compared to the scale of the problems. Focusing on the solution is better than giving up in despair. “
Until Wednesday, the foundation’s largest donor was Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett, whose combined contributions totaled $35.7 billion.
The Gates announced their divorce last year. As part of the dissolution, each pledged to donate $15 billion to the foundation. Melinda French Gates now oversees her own investment and business incubation firm, Pivotal Ventures.
“Bill and Melinda are fully committed to continuing to work together constructively at the Foundation to advance its policy agenda and goals,” a spokesperson said in a statement first reported by Bloomberg.
Gates has been the subject of several unsubstantiated allegations regarding the pandemic and, more recently, the nationwide shortage of infant formula.
With a net worth of $114 billion, he ranks as the fourth richest person in the world, according to Bloomberg. Gates said Wednesday that he plans to leave the world’s richest list one day.
“The fact that I give this money away is not a sacrifice at all,” he said. “I feel privileged to be involved in solving these great challenges, I love the work and believe I have an obligation to return my resources to society in a way that I have the greatest impact in improving the life. I hope others in positions of great wealth and privilege will step up at this time as well.”
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Post expires at 12:48am on Friday July 22nd, 2022