The President of the Global Health Program is Tachi Yamada. The Gates Foundation has quickly become a major influence upon global health; the approximately US$ 800 million that the foundation gives every year for global health approaches the annual budget of the United Nations' World Health Organization and is comparable to the funds given to fight infectious disease by the United States Agency for International Development. The Foundation currently provides 17% (US$ 86 million in 2006) of the world budget for the attempted eradication of poliomyelitis (polio).[Picture shows Bill and Melinda in New Delhi]
The Global Health Program's other significant grants include:
The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization
The foundation gave The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization a donation of US$ 750 million on 25 January 2005.
VACCINATION ALLIANCE WEBSITE
The Institute for One World Health
The foundation gave The Institute for OneWorld Health a donation of nearly US$10 million to support the organization's work on a drug for visceral leishmaniasis (VL).
Children's Vaccine Program
The Children's Vaccine Program, run by the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), received a donation of US$27 million to help vaccinate against Japanese encephalitis on 9 December 2003.
CHILDREN’S VACCINATION WEBSITE
University of Washington Department of Global Health
The foundation provided approximately US$ 30 million for the foundation of the new Department of Global Health at the University of Washington in Seattle. The donation promoted three of the Foundation's target areas: education, Pacific Northwest and global health.
The foundation has donated a grand total of US$ 287 million to various HIV/AIDS researchers. The money was split between sixteen different research teams across the world, on the condition that they share their findings with one another.
UNITED STATES PROGRAM
United States Program
Under President Allan Golston, the United States Program has made grants such as the following:
New Schools Venture Fund
The Foundation contributed US$ 30 million to help NewSchools to manage more charter schools, which aim to prepare students in historically underserved areas for college and careers.
Gates Millennium Scholars
Administered by the United Negro College Fund the foundation donated US$1 billion for scholarships to high achieving minority students.
MINORITY STUDENTS WEBSITE
Gates Cambridge Scholarships
Donated US$210 million in October 2000 to help outstanding graduate students outside of the United Kingdom study at the University of Cambridge. Approximately 100 new students every year are funded.
GATES SCHOLARSHIPS WEBSITE
University Scholars Program
Donated US$20 million in 1998 to endow a scholarship program at Melinda Gates' alma mater, Duke University. The program provides full scholarships to about 10 members of each undergraduate class and one member in each class in each of the professional schools (Schools of Medicine, Business, Law, Divinity, Environment, and Nursing). The program also pays for a full-time administrator who organizes seminars to bring these scholars together for interdisciplinary discussions as well as the selection process in the Spring.
Donated US$1 million in 2000 to the Discovery Institute and pledged US$9.35 million over 10 years in 2003, including US$50,000 of Bruce Chapman's US$141,000 annual salary. According to a Gates Foundation grant maker, this grant is "exclusive to the Cascadia project" on regional transportation, and it may not be used for the Institute's other activities, including promotion of intelligent design.
Computer History Museum
Donated US$15 million to the museum in October, 2005.
Global Development Program
President Sylvia Mathews leads the Global Development Program, which combats extreme poverty through grants such as the following:
Financial Services for the Poor
A $1.5 million grant allows Grameen Foundation to make more microloans, with the goal of helping five million additional families and successfully freeing 50 percent of those families from poverty within five years.
Donated US$800,000 to the Philippine Rice Research Institute to develop rice with higher amounts of micronutrients.
PHILIPPINE RICE WEBSITE
AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa)
The Gates Foundation has partnered with the Rockefeller Foundation to enhance agricultural science and small-farm productivity in Africa, building on the Green Revolution which the Rockefeller Foundation spurred in the 1940s and 1960s. The Gates Foundation has made an initial $100 million dollar investment in this effort, to which the Rockefeller foundation has contributed $50 million.
Access to Learning Award
Each year an award of up to US$ 1 million is given to a public library or similar organization outside the United States that has an innovative program offering the public free access to information technology.
GLOBAL SPECIAL INITIATIVES
The Foundation's Special Initiatives include responses to catastrophes as well as learning grants, which are used to experiment with new areas of giving. Currently, the Foundation is exploring water, hygiene and sanitation as a new focus within Global Development.
Indian Ocean Earthquake
The foundation made total grant donations of US$3 million to various charities to help with the aid effort for victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake. These charities include:
* CARE international
* International Rescue Committee
* Mercy Corps
* Save the Children
* World Vision
The foundation made a donation of US$ 500,000 for the 2005 Kashmir earthquake.
WATER, HYGIENE AND SANITATION
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
The Foundation is giving the International Bank US$1,200,000 over 3 years to find new, sustainable ways to make water, sanitation and hygiene services safer and more affordable.
CRITICISMS of the BILL and MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION
The Gates Millennium Scholars fund, according to its official website's frequently asked questions section, only provides scholarships to African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Pacific Islander American or Hispanic American applicants. Because the program focuses on racial and ethnic minorities, it has been criticized for excluding Caucasians.
An op-ed by Ernest W. Lefever, published in the Los Angeles Times on November 1, 1999, stated:
"America's most celebrated college dropout had a great opportunity to boost higher education, help needy students and strike a blow against racism, but he blew it. If Bill Gates had been able to chat with Teddy Roosevelt before launching his breathtaking $1-billion program of college scholarships, America would be a better place. Unless significantly amended, Gates' 'minority' scholarships will further inflame racial tensions, delay the achievement of a colorblind society and subvert the cherished virtue of reward by merit.
The Gates Millennium Scholarships for thousands of high school seniors over the next 20 years are intended to produce more scientists, engineers, doctors and educators from among American minorities, who, he claims, are woefully under represented in college. His commitment to arbitrarily preferred groups is bound to increase racial resentment. Gates' vague concept of 'diversity' confuses the laudable diversity of cultural talents that strengthens the nation with the self-conscious racial diversity that divides it by breeding arrogance and envy."
Promotion of abortion and contraception
Some social conservatives also criticize the foundation for its support of organizations that promote abortion and contraception, including the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Alan Guttmacher Institute, the United Nations Population Fund and the World Health Organization.
Investment in oil companies and drug companies
According to a January 7, 2007 Los Angeles Times article, the foundation invests large amounts of money in companies whose behavior counters the foundation's charitable goals. Examples include oil companies such as Eni, whose pollution sickens the same people to whom the foundation provides health care, and drug companies who withhold medications from the developing world. According to the article, many other foundations behave similarly. In response, the foundation first announced a systematic review of all of its investments to determine whether it should consider divestment from some companies. Later, it revoked this pledge and said it would continue its current practices.
Diversion of health care resources
In a January/February 2007 Foreign Affairs article, Laurie Garrett claims that many charitable organizations, among whom the Gates Foundation is prominent, harm global health by diverting resources from other important local health care services. For example, by paying relatively high salaries at AIDS clinics, the foundation diverts medical professionals from other parts of developing nations' health care systems; the health care systems' ability to provide care diminishes (except in the area the foundation funds) and the charities may do more harm than good.
In popular culture
As a satirical parody of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Comedy Central personality Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report, has "launched" his own (fake) charitable organization, the "Stephen & Melinda Gates Foundation," the objective of which is to send gay people (like former N*SYNC member Lance Bass) into space. The group's graphic on the show is the same as that of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, but with Bill Gates's head replaced by Colbert's own. The Stephen & Melinda Gates Foundation donated $50 to the Night of Too Many Stars, broadcast on Comedy Central, in the form of an oversized bank check.