Jul 13, 2022 - Economy & Business

Bill Gates pledges $20 billion to foundation to address "huge global setbacks"

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and Chair of the Gates Foundation, walks to a morning session during the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 7 in Sun Valley, Idaho. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Bill Gates said Wednesday that he plans to give "virtually" all of his wealth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and eventually move off the list of the world’s richest people.

Driving the news: Gates plans to transfer $20 billion to the foundation's endowment this month to help increase its spending from $6 billion a year to $9 billion a year by 2026, he said in a tweet.

What he's saying: "Several huge global setbacks over the past few years have left many people discouraged and wondering whether the world is destined to get worse," Gates wrote on Twitter.

  • "The pandemic is one of the biggest setbacks in history," he tweeted. "The war on Ukraine is a gigantic tragedy for the entire world. The damage from climate change is already worse than most models predicted. The U.S. has taken a huge step backwards for gender equality and women’s health."
  • "The great crises of our time require all of us to do more," Gates added.

The big picture: Gates had already pledged to give away at least 50% of his wealth to charity as part of the Giving Pledge, which he and ex-wife Melinda Gates created with fellow billionaire Warren Buffett in 2010 to encourage the ultra-wealthy to donate to charity.

  • Since 1994, Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates have contributed $39 billion to the foundation. Since 2000, the foundation has spent $79.2 billion, according to a press release.
  • "Over the past two years, the foundation has also made commitments of $2.1 billion to gender equality, nearly $1 billion to advance global nutrition, and over $2 billion to address the COVID-19 pandemic," the foundation said in the release.

Go deeper: Gates Foundation to send $120 million of COVID antiviral pills to lower-income countries

Editor's note: This story has been updated with details of the contributions to the Gates Foundation.

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