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For 20 years, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been committed to fighting the greatest inequities in the world. Read our story Understand our role We can't achieve our goals on our own. We work together with businesses, government, and nonprofits, and each partner plays a specific role in accelerating progress. Learn more about our role
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Phoebe Gates Embraces Mom Melinda at Gates Foundation Event — and Gets Shout-Out from Dad Bill
Phoebe Gates was feeling the love for her mom and dad at one of their foundation's biggest events! Phoebe attended and moderated a panel at the Bill and ...
4 days ago
- How did their foundation start?
- What does the foundation do?
- Where does it get its money from?
- Does everyone agree with its work?
- Will the Gates Foundation continue its work?
News that billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates are to separate after 27 years of marriage has sparked speculation over what will happen to their charitable foundation.
The Microsoft co-founder is a huge name in the tech world, but he and his wife also play a pivotal role in global health campaigns.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - the largest private body of its kind - spends billions of dollars every year on initiatives aimed at eradicating infectious diseases and reducing poverty.
The Gates foundation was born in 2000 as a merger of two previous charitable endeavours.
At the time, Bill Gates was considered the richest person in the world.
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Some of its earliest actions included pledges to the Global Fund organisation, which works to eradicate life-threatening diseases such as Malaria and Aids.
The Gates foundation was also a founding partner of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, created in 2000 to improve immunisation access in poor countries. It has donated more than $4bn to Gavi, which is currently the key player in distributing Covid vaccines in developing countries.
Improving sanitation has became another of the foundation's focuses. Bill Gates has done everything from brandishing a jar of poo on stage to drinking water from distilled faeces, in a bid to reduce stigma and showcase technological advances.
The foundation also does work in the US and says it has funded 20,000 university scholarships for high-achieving, low-income students of colour.
Headquartered in Seattle, the foundation has paid $54.8bn in grants to initiatives in 135 international countries.
The endeavour now has more than 1,600 employees in offices around the world - including in Delhi, Beijing and Johannesburg.
The Gates Foundation is the largest organisation of its kind in the world with an endowment of about $50bn (£36bn) - more than the GDP of some countries.
Although the foundation has done good work with its spending across the world, some have raised concerns about the ethics of a private endeavour wielding such great influence.
The foundation is the largest private donor to the World Health Organization (WHO), second only to the US with its annual donation in 2018. Concerns about this became more pointed after former President Donald Trump threatened to pull US funding.
In the statement announcing their divorce, the couple said they would "continue our work together at the foundation" in spite of the separation.
A spokesman for the foundation said they would remain co-chairs and trustees.
David Callahan, founder and editor of news website Inside Philanthropy, told the BBC's World Service that he expected the foundation's work to carry on.
"This is not some small family foundation that's going to fall apart because a marriage is falling apart, this is a large, professional institution," he said.
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