Bill Gates is giving his foundation a fresh $20 billion to address 'global challenges'

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Bill Gates said Wednesday he would donate $20 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to address "huge global setbacks" facing the world.

Gates said in a statement that the foundation, which he created with his ex-wife, Melinda French Gates, in 2000, now seeks to spend $9 billion a year to fund innovations and causes that prevent pandemics, reduce childhood deaths, eradicate diseases, tackle climate change and achieve gender equality.

"These innovations will not come in time to avoid the problems altogether, but the faster we move, the less people will suffer," Gates said. "For many people including myself this is the most concrete way of contributing, even when it seems modest compared to the scale of the problems. Focusing on being part of the solution is better than giving up in despair."