Most people know by now that Bill and Melinda Gates have vowed to give away almost all of their vast wealth, which they mostly do through their joint foundation. The fund, worth more than £30billion, concentrates on global health issues and coronavirus has brought that into stark focus.
The pair initially gave approximately £7million back in January. But as the crisis deepened, they committed another £76million and a further £115million, making them the second-largest donors to the World Health Organisation behind America.
The aim is to improve detection and distribute a vaccine to developing countries, particularly in South Asia and Africa, where a lot of the foundation's funds are directed.
"Once you've taken care of yourself and your children, the best use of extra wealth is to give it back to society." - Bill Gates
"We both come from families that believed in leaving the world better than you found it." - Melinda Gates
The pair's philanthropic efforts are well-known, from big goals like eradicating malaria and HIV/AIDS, to providing online access to libraries and funding scholarships to universities in America and the UK.
Writing in one of their annual letters describing their foundation's charity work, Bill said: "Even before we got married, we talked about how we would eventually spend a lot of time on philanthropy.
"We think that's a basic responsibility of anyone with a lot of money. Once you've taken care of yourself and your children, the best use of extra wealth is to give it back to society."
Melinda added: "No, it's not fair that we have so much wealth when billions of others have so little. And it's not fair that our wealth opens doors that are closed to most people...
"We both come from families that believed in leaving the world better than you found it. My parents made sure my siblings and I took the social justice teachings of the Catholic Church to heart.
"Bill's mum was known, and his dad still is known, for showing up to advocate for a dizzying number of important causes and support more local organizations than you can count. Our goal is to do what our parents taught us and do our part to make the world better."
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