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Melinda Gates Backing Africa, Asia and Latin America Outreach
Melinda Gates Backing Africa, Asia and Latin America Outreach

Co-Impact, a philanthropy collaborative backed by Melinda French Gates, has announced it is pledging $161 million in grants to support health, education and gender equality across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The pledge includes $95 million for the organization’s Foundational Fund to support “long-term change initiatives” including a literacy campaign in Brazil and environmental initiatives in India.

It also covers $66 million for the organization’s Gender Fund to support reproductive rights and healthcare for women in Ghana as well as legal education efforts for women in Mexico.

The remaining 1% or so – about $1.6 million – will go toward grants for additional projects and research related to women’s leadership and gender equality.

Co-Impact was launched in 2017 with $500 million in seed funding from a pooled group of donors spearheaded by Gates and also including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and other philanthropists including Richard Chandler, Jeff Skoll, and Romesh and Kathy Wadhwani.

The group’s funding, while falling well short of the amounts 

The organization describes itself as “a new global model for collaborative philanthropy and social change at scale” with a commitment to “delivering large-scale, sustainable change to underserved populations across the Global South.”

The organization has since set a goal of raising an additional $1 billion in targeted funding for gender equity programs Africa, Asia and Latin America.

These amounts, while falling well short of the $14 billion donated to do by philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, are but the latest instance of wealthy donors making sizable donations to support charitable and social change projects.

Both Gates and Scott are signatories of The Giving Pledge, a campaign to encourage billionaires to give away most of their wealth before or when they die.

“Trust and long-term support are essential to achieve outcomes,” said Rakesh Rajani, Co-Impact’s vice president of programs, in a statement. “Virtually all our long term and flexible funding goes to organizations led by people, mostly women, rooted in the Global South. They are best placed to lead because they are closer to the action, know their local contexts and have the credibility and relationships needed to achieve lasting change.”