UAE businessmen donate half their wealth to Bill Gates' Giving Pledge

Philanthropists include Crescent Enterprise CEO Badr Jafr, NMC Health founder BR Shetty and VPS Health managing director Shamseer Vayalil.
UAE businessmen donate half their wealth to Bill Gates' Giving Pledge
Of the remaining philanthropists most recently added to the Giving Pledge, nine are from the United States, and one each from Canada and India.
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Thu 31 May 2018 09:26 AM

Three high-profile UAE-based businessmen are among 14 philanthropists who have joined the Giving Pledge created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet, which invites the world’s wealthiest philanthropists to commit more than half their wealth to charitable causes during their lifetimes or in their wills.

The philanthropists include Badr Jafr, the CEO of the UAE-based Crescent Enterprises and president of Crescent Petroleum, as well as NMC Health and UAE Exchange founder BR Shetty and VPS Healthcare founder and managing director Shamseer Vayalil.

Of the remaining philanthropists most recently added to the Giving Pledge, nine are from the United States, and one each from Canada and India.

“Recognising the rapid generation shifts occurring in developing markets, including the Middle East, my philanthropic activities are built around this urgency to promote a culture of strategic high-impact philanthropy as an imperative for private resources to serve public good,” Badr Jafr wrote in his pledge letter.

BR Shetty, for his part, said that “it is a crime when you are able to help others and choose not to.”

Lastly Shamseer Vayalil noted that he believes “success means having created something that can make a positive and sustainable difference in the lives of people.”

To date, 183 pledgers from 22 countries have signed onto the Giving Pledge, ranging in ages from 32 to 94.

“Over the past eight years, we’ve been inspired by the dedicated philanthropists who have chosen to join the Giving Pledge and this year’s group is no exception,” Warren Buffet said in a statement.

“They are passionate about using their wealth to help reduce inequities and improve the lives of everyone in the world.”

Previous philanthropists from the Gulf region who have joined the pledge include GEMS Education founders Sunny & Sherly Varkey, Sobha Group's PNC & Sobha Menon, Abraaj founder Arif Naqvi, and Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who signed up in 2015. 

"It is a commitment without boundaries. A commitment to all mankind," the prince told reporters at the time.

"The donation will be allocated according to a well devised plan throughout the coming years.

"It will be based on a strategy that is supervised and managed by a board of trustees headed by me to ensure that it will be used after my death for humanitarian projects and initiatives," he added.

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