In a Twitter thread today, and in a post on his blog GatesNotes, Microsoft founder Bill Gates announced that he is giving another $20 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and plans to give “virtually all” of his wealth to the foundation in the coming years, and “will move down and eventually off of the list of the world’s richest people.”
As I look to the future, I plan to give virtually all of my wealth to the foundation. I will move down and eventually off of the list of the world’s richest people.
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) July 13, 2022
Gates started the foundation back in 2000 with a vision that “every person should have the chance to live a healthy and productive life.” Since then, the world has made some significant advances in world poverty:
Over the next 20 years—thanks to efforts by governments, the private sector, non-profits, and philanthropies like ours—the number of children who died before their fifth birthday dropped by half, from 12 million per year to 6 million per year. The fraction of people living in extreme poverty also dropped by half. More children enrolled in school than ever. Deadly diseases such as HIV, TB, and malaria went into retreat, as the number of people who died from these diseases continued to fall. This progress was not limited to one region or to wealthy countries. It happened in dozens of countries all over the world from Bangladesh to Ethiopia to Ghana.
In announcing the gift, Gates says he is still optimistic even with the ravages of Covid and the war in Ukraine:
I see incredible heroism and sacrifice all over the world. Medical workers put in unbelievable hours at great risk to themselves to help people infected with COVID. Incredible efforts are taking place to help refugees from the Ukrainian war and to help those caught in battle zones. Activists are courageously protesting and often risking their lives to protect people’s rights. People on the front lines inspire me to do whatever I can. Although each of us can only do so much, when lots of people join in we will resume progress.
Gates mentions that nearly half of the Foundation’s resources have come from his friend and bridge partner Warren Buffett, and “(h)is incredible generosity is a huge reason why the foundation has been able to be so ambitious.”
You can read more about Gates’s efforts in the blog post.