The shocking announcement that billionaire philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates will divorce after 27 years of marriage cast doubt on the future of their highly influential charities.
Here, AFP looks at the Gates Foundation, from its mechanics and funding projects, to its pandemic impact and how nonprofits are affected by the split.
When the couple read a newspaper article about millions of children in developing countries dying from easily treatable illnesses such as diarrhea and pneumonia, the Foundation’s ideas were brought to them as young parents. Say it.
In 2000, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was founded to combat disease and poverty around the world. In the United States, the initial focus on providing access to computers and the Internet has expanded to improve general education.
The Gates Foundation has 1,600 staff in offices around the world and donates approximately $ 5 billion annually in areas such as global public health and development.
The Foundation states that it has spent $ 54.8 billion since its inception.
Over $ 2 billion was spent alone in the fight against malaria, with the goal of eradicating mosquito-borne diseases “within a generation.”
Charities have also donated billions of dollars to a global campaign to eradicate polio through widespread immunization of children. Donated more than $ 50 million during the 2014 Ebola outbreak.
Dozens of other programs it funded include nutrition, hygiene, maternal and child health and agricultural development.
Last year, the Foundation promised about $ 250 million to support the fight against the pandemic, with some of the funding being the distribution of life-saving doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to sub-Saharan Africa and parts of South Asia. Was directed to.
The funds were also used to support testing, personal protective equipment, and overwhelming medical services, especially in developing countries.
It was also important in establishing Covax, a global program to support the supply of vaccines to the poorest countries.
The Foundation says it has spent a total of about $ 1.75 billion in the fight against Covid-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic.
After being accused of urging Oxford University to sign an exclusive contract with AstraZeneca for vaccines rather than donating rights to pharmaceutical companies, he realized that he was involved in the controversy itself.
Bill (65) and Melinda (56) are co-chairs of a charity and Warren Buffett is a trustee. The CEO is Mark Suzuman.
In the early days when Bill was still running Microsoft on a daily basis, Melinda was considered to lead the Foundation.
In 2008, Bill moved to Microsoft’s part-time role and devoted himself to the Foundation. Last year he resigned from Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway for the same reason.
It is hard to say that either one is more influential.
Melinda wrote in her 2019 memoir, The Moment of Lift, that she discussed who would write the Foundation’s annual letter, which Bill normally did.
“I thought we were trying to kill each other,” she said. Co-authored since 2014.
In the early days, Gates transferred about $ 20 billion in Microsoft stock to the Foundation.
In 2006, Buffett announced that he would donate most of his property to the Foundation in the form of shares in his company Berkshire Hathaway.
Four years later, Gates and Buffet launched the Giving Pledge Initiative. This initiative encouraged the wealthy to donate at least 50% of their wealth to philanthropic activities, including the Gates Foundation.
So far, more than 200 celebrities have pledged.
The Foundation has donations of over $ 46 billion.
At the end of last year, Berkshire Hathaway dominated, according to Investopedia, with a vast equity portfolio that included Wal-Mart, Caterpillar, US corporate waste management, and the Canadian National Railway.
Bill and Melinda, the fourth wealthiest men in the world, valued by Forbes for $ 130 billion, have promised to continue working together for the Foundation.
However, their divorce could raise new questions about their wealth, most of which have not yet been donated to the Foundation, despite co-creating the Giving Pledge.
The future of the Gates Foundation may depend on the financial terms of the divorce, which is still unknown.
Melinda immediately donated an estimated $ 6 billion after divorcing Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2019 and may want to follow the example of Mackenzie Scott, now a powerful and independent philanthropist. Hmm.
How Will Bill And Melinda Gates’ Divorce Impact Their Charity? Source link How Will Bill And Melinda Gates’ Divorce Impact Their Charity?