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Gates puts $5bn more into charity pot

Biggest gift by a living donor

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Bill Gates has whacked in another $5 billion (or it could be $6 billion -reports vary) into his very own home-grown charity. This is the biggest gift yet made by a living donor. But Gates has a couple of billion dollars to go before his charitable foundation overtakes The Wellcome Trust, the world's largest, with $19.1 billion worth of assets. The foundation stakes are hotting up, with Bill and Melinda merging the William H Gates and the Gates Learning foundations to form, well, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Combined assets are $17 billion. The charitable focus remains on healthcare, and technology in education and libraries. One idea is to create a market for a malaria vaccine that hasn't been developed yet. Shades of Windows 2000, perhaps? The new foundation is run by two co-chairs, apparently Gates' father, and Patty Stonesifer who was previously a Microsoft vp. Today's US edition of Newsweek has a sympathetic article that reveals that the merged foundation has just over $17 billion. ®

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