Gates Charity donates $500 million

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Bill Gates donates 500 million dollars to charity

SHÂN ROSS Thu 10 Aug 2006

BILL Gates, the richest man in the world, has given $500 million (£260 million) to a cash-strapped charity which helps people suffering from AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

The donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation set up by Mr Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, is the largest private donation ever received by the charity.

Richard Feachem, the executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, welcomed the donation but said more cash was needed.

"Even with this support, it is likely that the fund will need an additional $500 million to reach our goal of $1.1 billion to fully fund all of the grants that we expect to approve for our sixth round of funding," he said.

Mr Gates said: "The Global Fund is one of the most important health initiatives in the world today."

The cash gift was announced yesterday, less than a week before the 16th International AIDS Conference, being held this year in Toronto.

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