The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will inject $750 million into the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates announced at the World Economic Forum.
The donation comes in the form of a promissory note, not as cash, which the Gates Foundation said "gives the Global Fund the flexibility and authority to distribute funds efficiently based on immediate needs."
"By supporting the Global Fund, we can help to change the fortunes of the poorest countries in the world," Gates said in a statement. "I can't think of more important work."
At a news conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Gates said the funds could be used immediately to "saves lives, whether it is bed nets (to protect against mosquitoes carrying malaria) or TB (tuberculosis) treatment, those are two diseases that don't get perhaps the visibility of the work done in HIV but they are every bit as important."
The investment comes on top of $650 million the Gates Foundation has already contributed since the Global Fund was launched 10 years ago.
Demographers estimate we will hit eight billion sometime in the next twelve years. No one can say exactly when or where we will cross that threshold but one thing is guaranteed: each of those next billion will be children.
While there are many things to consider about our readiness for population growth and sustainability, I also keep this question in view: What are the odds that each of those children can reach the potential they came into the world with?
Nearly half the world exists on $2 a day or less -- and half of the world's children live in poverty. In the least developed countries, about 30% of children under the age of 14 work. As a result, these children become extremely vulnerable to exploitation and human trafficking. Nearly 1 million children are trafficked and enslaved each year.
So what of the next billion? Will they learn or labor? Will they be free or enslaved? Will they know trauma or recovery? Will they be shown pathways to thrive or will they be stuck, as economist Paul Collier describes as the "bottom billion"?
If you believe all lives are of equal value, writing off a generation is simply unconscionable. Their future and ours have never before been so globally and inextricably tangled. Economic and political stability, global workforce and markets, the well being of civil society -- we'll rise or fall together.
[Excerpt of article by Kristin Lindsey, CEO of The Global Fund for Children]
Describing the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as the world’s largest foundation is accurate but a substantial understatement.
Its annual giving is more than six times larger than its closest ‘peer’.
There are fewer than 100 US foundations that give more than $50 million annually. The Gates Foundation gives $50 million per week.
But it’s not just the amount of giving that distinguishes the foundation. As Ed Skloot puts it, the foundation "differs from the institutional norm in almost every way: in size, ambition, high-level connections, proactivity, long-term commitment, operational engagement, and public leadership".
The Gates Foundation is treading new ground, changing expectations and the policy environment of philanthropy by its very existence.
--Tim Ogden, writing in Alliance
While Africans in general are an extremely charitable lot, Africa’s 40 richest people have yet to make a mark in global philanthropy, though are making notable efforts in their home countries. Among the more significant givers among Africa’s 40 richest:
Strive Masiyiwa, Zimbabwean - The Zimbabwean telecoms tycoon and founder of Econet Wireless is one of Africa’s biggest givers. In 1996 Strive and his wife, Tsitsi Masiyiwa founded the Capernaum Trust, a Zimbabwe-registered Christian charity that supports over 28,000 orphaned Zimbabwean children. The organization provides bursary awards, scholarships, food packs and medical assistance to the children. The charity also funds the construction of libraries and other resource centers where beneficiaries can access educational materials.
Theophilus Danjuma, Nigerian - Nigeria’s former defense minister is the founder and chairman of South Atlantic Petroleum, one of the country’s leading oil exploration companies. Last year he endowed his T.Y.Daniuma Foundation with $100 million - the largest in Nigerian philanthropic history. The foundation makes grants to Nigerian-based non-governmental organizations that promote causes in education, free healthcare, policy advocacy and poverty alleviation.
Aliko Dangote, Nigerian - Africa’s wealthiest man recently embraced philanthropy. Over the last one year the Nigerian-born commodities tycoon has given $15 million to a Nigerian SME fund which grants low-interest loans to small businesses. In May, his Dangote foundation partnered with the World Economic Forum to establish a fellowship program aimed at grooming young leaders from Africa. Dangote donated $2 million to the programme. He has also recently given away millions to healthcare and educational causes as well as to communities that have been afflicted by natural disasters.
Nicky Oppenheimer, South African - South Africa’s richest man is custodian of the legacy of his fathers, Ernest and Harry Oppenheimer. He currently oversees the operations of the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, a charity his father, Harry, founded in 1958. The foundation gives away over $6million annually in scholarships and bursaries to select South African students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Oppenheimer is also an avid financial supporter of environmental conservation causes.
Raymond Ackerman, South African - Acherman is the founder of the Pick N Pay Group, one of South Africa’s largest supermarket chains with some 870 stores spread across the country. He gives back through The Ackerman Family Educational Trust, which provides scholarships and bursaries for about 60 South African students every year. The trust, which is managed by his wife, Wendy, also helps the mentally and physically disabled.
Hakeem Belo-Osagie, Nigerian - The reclusive Nigerian-born Harvard-trained Petroleum economist is the chairman and largest individual shareholder of the Nigerian operations of UAE Telecoms company, Etisalat. Belo-Osagie has given away millions to educational institutions such as the African Leadership Academy and Kings College Lagos. He also funds a scholarship program for select African students at Oxford University.
The Sawiris family, Egyptian- In 2001 Onsi Sawiris, the patriarch of the Sawiris family business dynasty of Egypt founded the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development, a charity which provides micro credit to Egyptian entrepreneurs and grants scholarships to outstanding Egyptian students in tertiary institutions. The foundation also funds an annual prize for the best of Egyptian literature.
In 2001, only 4 percent of donors had given online. This year, about 65 percent have given to charity through the Internet.
In 2001, the average donation through the site was $226. But this year the average gift is $73, a change that Network for Good interprets as a sign that online giving has “gone mainstream.”
Just a couple of the comparisons made in a new graphic from Network for Good, a fund-raising and volunteerism Web site that celebrates its 10th anniversary this month.