SEATTLE, Washington — Global poverty is an issue that holds the attention of people worldwide. Several international humanitarian organizations help alleviate global poverty, contributing to relief efforts on the ground and funding humanitarian programs. Moreover, some wealthy, influential individuals are contributing to anti-global poverty efforts. Here are five wealthy individuals aiding the world’s disadvantaged and using their wealth to better global equality.
5 Wealthy Individuals Aiding Global Poverty Relief Efforts:
- George and Amal Clooney: Clooney’s success in the entertainment industry and Amal Clooney’s career as an accomplished lawyer have led to their estimated $500 million net worth. Amal Clooney is primarily known for her part in supporting global justice efforts. Mrs. Clooney studied law at Oxford University and New York University and is now a widely recognized activist for global issues. Among her long list of global justice projects, she has worked on the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict initiative, which works to defend the rights of women trapped in war zones. This world-famous couple has demonstrated time and time again how they use their wealth to help the disadvantaged and impoverished communities. In 2017, George Clooney donated $21 million from his tequila company sales to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Clooney Foundation for Justice. Clooney announced that he would be directing this donation toward aiding refugees, providing funding for refugee housing and education in America. The Clooneys founded the Clooney Foundation for Justice and worked to represent and fight for victims of human injustices worldwide.
- Azim Premji: Azim Premji is one of the richest men in India. He developed his fortune through his business endeavors in the technology industry. About 20 years ago, Premji noticed the evident wage gap between the wealthy and impoverished populations in India and determined to help fight this injustice. In 2000, he established the Azim Premji Foundation. This nonprofit organization strives to improve elementary education in rural areas of India. Premji believes that an enhanced education system for young learners is a step toward solving many issues facing the country. The organization was initially funded solely by Premji’s finances but has grown to have employees, volunteers and donors worldwide. Azim Premji has also been recognized more than once for his philanthropic efforts. In 2004 and again in 2011, he was among the top 100 most influential people by TIME Magazine.
- Carlos Slim Helu: The real estate tycoon Carlos Slim Helu has a net worth of $15.1 billion. His fortune grew through the success of his investment company and ventures in retail and real estate. Aside from being a hugely successful businessman, he is also recognized for his extensive charitable efforts. The Carlos Slim Foundation was founded in 2009, focusing on improving health, sports and education systems in Mexico. Moreover, Slim also won the Hadrian Award for World Monument Fund after founding the Historic Centre of Mexico City in 2000.
- Warren Buffett: Investment tycoon and world-renowned philanthropist Warren Buffett is no stranger to poverty reduction efforts. Being the second richest man in the world, he has the means to make a difference and often vocalizes the importance of advocating for global equality. He firmly believes that the government has a duty to its people to create legislatures and take steps to help those that fall under the poverty line. His passion for alleviating poverty is reflective in his social media platforms and monetary contributions. Buffett donates to a long list of charities, including the Animal Rescue Foundation, Girls Inc. and Make-A-Wish Foundation, among others. His most notable contribution to poverty reduction efforts is his work with Bill and Melinda Gates. He founded the Giving Pledge with the Gates in 2010. This organization works with other millionaires and billionaires by promising a portion of their fortune to charities. Additionally, in 2006, Buffett made history by donating $37 billion to the Gates Foundation, the largest charitable donation ever made.
- Bill and Melinda Gates: Bill Gates was once the richest man in the world thanks to his technology and business ventures. With a net worth of over $100 billion, Gates and his wife Melinda use their wealth and cachet to create equal opportunities worldwide. In 1999, the Gates Millennium Scholars Program was established to provide higher quality education to disadvantaged communities. The couple’s most notable contribution to global initiatives, however, is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This foundation has two main sectors: global health and global development. The organization is funded primarily by the Gates and Warren Buffett; however, it has grown to include thousands of volunteers and advocates for global cooperation to overcome critical global issues.
Although every person on this list has more than the means to advocate for anti-global poverty, one does not necessarily need a million dollars to make a difference. Small donations to a charity, volunteering at a nonprofit humanitarian organization or sending a quick email to Congress highlighting the importance of the International Affairs Budget that aids global relief efforts are all small steps toward a global difference. These five wealthy individuals contributing to the fight against global poverty demonstrate just how important it is to get involved and contribute to the worldwide effort toward equality and justice.
– Brittany Carter