SEATTLE -- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced today that in the first half of the year, Bill and Melinda Gates have given their charitable foundation an additional $2 billion, bringing the total endowment of the foundation to $23.5 billion.
"Bill and Melinda's generosity is remarkable, and we have a responsibility to ensure that these resources are used in an effective and strategic way," said Patty Stonesifer, co-chair and president of the foundation.
Headquartered in Seattle, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is focused on issues of global health, education, libraries and public access to information.
Global Health Program
Improving the health of women and children, particularly in the developing world, is the overriding goal of the Global Health Program. The foundation currently focuses its attention on three areas: vaccine-preventable diseases, reproductive and child health and conditions associated with poverty. In these areas, recent commitments the foundation has made include:
· $70 million to support a partnership between Seattle-based Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to eliminate meningitis epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa (http://www.meningvax.org/)
· $10 million to the UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Development in Tropical Diseases (TDR) at the World Health Organization to facilitate the development of new tests for the diagnosis of tuberculosis (http://www.who.int/tdr/)
· $20 million to support the efforts of the Global Alliance for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis, which is seeking to accelerate the elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) (http://www.filariasis.org/)
· $100 million challenge grant to the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) in a bid to mobilize global support for the organization and its work to accelerate the development and delivery of a preventive AIDS vaccine (http://www.iavi.org)
Education, Libraries and Public Access to Information
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is dedicated to sharing the promise of new technologies with all citizens. The foundation is focusing its efforts in three critical areas: education, libraries and public access to information. In these areas, recent commitments the foundation has made include:
· $8 million to the Colorado Children's Campaign to support the Small Schools Initiative that has the potential to dramatically improve student outcomes in urban schools in Colorado (http://www.coloradokids.org/)
· $2.4 million to the Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning to provide superintendents and principals from public and private schools access to quality leadership development focused on technology integration and whole systems change (http://www.state.mn.us/)
· $948,565 as part of the Native American Access to Technology Program to empower Native communities through increased access to digital information resources and help bridge the digital divide among Native Americans
· $486,000 to public libraries in Nunavut, Canada to support public access computing and Internet access
Bill and Melinda Gates support local organizations in the Pacific Northwest through capital campaign funding and grants to programs that address the needs of children and families. Recent Pacific Northwest commitments the foundation has made include:
· $1.7 million – as part of the Sound Families Program – to five projects that will provide housing for 179 households, with an emphasis on housing mothers with children and working families earning $16,000 or less a year (http://www.soundfamilies.org)
· $2 million to Catholic Community Services of Western Washington to increase their capacity to develop affordable housing by at least 50 percent over the next three years (http://www.ccsww.org/)
· $75,000 to Secret Harbor School for technology that will improve the educational resources available to at-risk youth served by its Cypress Island programs (http://www.secretharbor.org/)
· $1 million to the Seattle Foundation to provide capital grants and operating funds to King County nonprofit health and human service agencies (http://www.seattlefoundation.org/)
Note: Some of the commitments listed above are multi-year grants.
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