Prince Alwaleed pledges $30m to Bill Gates to fight polio

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Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has donated $30m to Bill Gates’ charity foundation to help the former Microsoft boss eradicate the spread of polio, it was announced on Sunday.

Alwaleed, who is chairman of Kingdom Holding and worth around $25.9bn, made the donation through his Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation.

The prince’s charitable arm recently signed a partnership agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the organisation set up by the former Microsoft boss in 1994.

The $30m pledge will be used to bolster the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and took place at the first Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi last week, which the prince and Gates both attended.

“We are thrilled that along with Prince Alwaleed, we have Michael Bloomberg, and Carlos Slim from Mexico, Carl Icahn, and major philanthropists who have joined us,” Gates said.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is aiming to save more than 20 million lives by 2020 by eradicating polio. The Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation is involved in humanitarian and philanthropic activities in more than 70 countries.

Last week, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed pledged a donation of AED440m ($120m) to support efforts to eradicate polio within the next five years.

The donation, which was announced ahead of the Global Vaccine Summit, will be partly used in efforts to eradicate the preventable disease in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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