The Seattle-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) was created in January 2000 by Microsoft founder/multi-billionaire Bill Gates and his wife. It took form through the merger of the Gates Learning Foundation, which worked to expand access to technology through public libraries, and the William H. Gates Foundation (named after Bill’s father), whose focus was on improving global health.
BMGF currently possesses assets exceeding $41 billion, making it the largest charitable organization in the world. Its self-identified mission is to help “reduce inequality” via three primary philanthropic programs:
(1) The United States Program directs its grant-making toward organizations that seek to help “all people,… especially those with the fewest resources,” gain“the opportunity to receive a high-quality education.” TheK-12division of this program aims to “ensure that all students graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college,” and the Post-Secondary Success division strives to “dramatically increase” the number of young people who obtain college degrees or certificates “with labor-market value.” Moreover, BMGF is the largest private funder of the Common Core State Standards Intiative which was adopted in 2009.
The United States Program also includes a Washington Stateproject dedicated to helping “vulnerable families” in that state deal with the persistent “problems of social inequity and poverty” that they face.
(2) The Global Health Program (GHP) invests in “proven approaches” to reducing the number of children who die each year, particularly in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, as a result of “physical and mental impairments due to poor nutrition during [the] critical 1,000-day period from the onset of their mother’s pregnancy to their second birthday.” These approaches include “immediate and exclusive breastfeeding, complementary feeding, and food fortification and supplementation.” In addition, GHP funds various efforts to “develop innovative tools, technologies, and treatments” that effectively help women and newborns in “low-income settings” around the world to “survive and stay healthy during childbirth and beyond.”
Further, GHP’s Infectious Diseases initiativeincludes: (a) a Malaria project that has committed nearly $2 billion in grants to fight this mosquito-borne malady which continues to kill hundreds of thousands of people – mostly young children in Sub-Saharan Africa – each year; (b) an HIV project that has awarded more than $3 billion to organizations around the world – particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa – that work to develop preventive measures and treatments for this deadly affliction; and (c) a Vaccine-Delivery project that seeks to help impoverished countries acquire immunizations for diseases like measles and polio, and for potentially life-threatening conditions like pneumonia.
(3) The Global Development Program serves as an umbrella for the following BMGF initiatives:
While BMGF’s philanthropy is by no means targeted exclusively toward the political left, among its more noteworthy grantees are the Aspen Institute, the Carter Center, the Council on Foundations, Global Justice, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, the National Council of La Raza, Physicians for Human Rights, Planned Parenthood, the Progressive Policy Institute, the Tides Center and the Tides Foundation, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the United Nations Foundation, the United States Student Association, the Urban League, the World Resources Institute, and World Vision International.
To view a list of additional noteworthy grantees of BMGF, click here.
In April 2014, twenty Palestinian non-governmental organizations issued an open letter condemning BMGF for holding a $170 million stake in G4S, a private security company that helps the state of Israel administer prisons that hold Palestinian inmates who, according to the Arab narrative, are incarcerated without trial and subjected to torture. In response to this letter, the Gates Foundation sold a majority of its shares in G4S the following month.
BMGF is a strong supporter of comprehensive immigration reform initiatives that would grant amnesty and provide a path-to-citizenship for millions of illegal aliens currently residing in the United States. Bill Gates himself was a co-founder of the pro-reform organization FWD.us. The publication Inside Philanthropy reports that BMGF has: (a) awarded millions of dollars to TheDream.Us, which seeks to help illegals gain DREAM Act benefits; (b) supported “immigrant rights” in the Pacific Northwest; (c) backed “immigrant integration” programs in Florida; and (d) funded Migration Policy Institute research on “undocumented youth and education.”
For additional information on BMGF, click here.