Bill Gates has announced that he will donate $20 billion to his foundation so that it can increase its annual spending. The patron is concerned about the “significant suffering” caused by the global negative events of recent years, writes AP News.

Along with the $3.1 billion donation Warren Buffett made last month, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has $70 billion. This makes it one of the largest, if not the largest, in the world. 

By 2026, the foundation plans to increase its annual budget by 50% compared to the pre-pandemic level. The hope here is that increased spending will help reduce poverty, improve education, prevent disease and move toward gender equality. 

“The great crises of our time require all of us to do more…  I hope by giving more, we can mitigate some of the suffering people are facing right now and help fulfill the foundation’s vision to give every person the chance to live a healthy and productive life,” stated Bill Gates on the fund’s page. 

Melinda Gates also noted that additional spending would help ensure a more “fair and comprehensive recovery.”

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, the number of starving people in the world has increased by 25% according to the data of the UN food program. Due to fluctuations in the prices of food and energy sources, 71 million people ended up below the poverty line. The inhabitants of the Balkans, the Caspian region and sub-Saharan Africa were particularly affected.

The CEO of the Gates Foundation says that the global crisis caused by the Russian invasion has halted the progress that had lasted 20 years before. However, the increase in agricultural productivity around the world generally continues. He said this at a webinar dedicated to the food crisis.

“We have the tools. We have the science. We have the knowledge. What we need is the political will and the resources,” he said about solving the problem.

In his essay on Gates Notes Bill Gates also writes that the polarization of society in the US makes it difficult to fight global crises.

“Polarization is forcing us to look backwards and fight again for basic human rights, social justice, and democratic norms,” says the philanthropist.  

Bill Gates notes the recent ban of abortion in the US as “a huge setback for gender equality, for women’s health, and for overall human progress.” He fears the potential for even greater regression that will endanger the lives of women, people of color, and all those less protected.