Monday, April 09, 2007

Will War-Engulfed Wealthy G-8 Nations's Aid To Global Poor And Diseased Be Eclipsed By Wealthy Private Philanthropy?

"Wealthy philanthropists have the potential to do more than the Group of Eight leading nations to lift Africa out of poverty, according to Jeff Sachs, special adviser to the United Nations secretary-general.

Mr Sachs told the Financial Times that the financial clout of the likes of Microsoft’s Bill Gates and international investor Warren Buffett, who have pledged billions of dollars to global health and education, could eclipse flagging governmental initiatives.

“The Rockefeller Foundation was the world’s most important development institution of the 20th century, and the Gates Foundation can be that of the 21st century,” he said. “Gates can make a huge difference if they hit the right model.”

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was already the biggest charitable group in the world before Mr Buffett last year pledged to give it the bulk of his $40bn-plus (€30bn, £20bn) fortune.

Mr Sachs proposed that other, less wealthy people could contribute to a new private sector foundation that could help speed the elimination of diseases and tackle specific challenges.

“There are 950 billionaires whose wealth is estimated at $3.5 trillion [$3,500bn]. An annual 5 per cent ‘foundation’ payout would be $175bn per year – that would do it. Then we don’t need the G8 but 950 people on the Forbes list,” said Mr Sachs. “Maybe private philanthropists will champion solutions to individual problems rather than the G8,” he said.

He was speaking as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development reported last week that aid from rich countries to Africa remained static last year even though G8 leaders promised in 2005 to spend $50bn more each year to 2010 on aid, with half the rise going to sub-Saharan Africa." ...

Leyla Boulton and James Lamont "Philanthropy ‘can eclipse G8’ on poverty" Financial Times April 8, 2007

Photo credit: (c) With thanks.


Post a Comment

<< Home