In one of the biggest and most remarkable philanthropic gestures in history, a Saudi prince has announced to give away his entire multi-billion dollar fortune to various charitable causes – which astonishingly include women empowerment and modernization.
Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, nephew of the late King Abdullah, will channel the wealth through his own charitable organization Alwaleed Philanthropies in the coming years. He vowed that the money will go toward programs promoting health, intercultural understanding and empowering women. He also wants to build orphanages, provide electricity to villages and work for disaster relief.
However, there is no confirmed deadline set for his donation nor are there any concrete plans regarding the relief programs, yet.
"The philanthropic pledge will help build bridges to foster cultural understanding, develop communities, empower women, enable youth, provide vital disaster relief and create a more tolerant and accepting world,” the billionaire magnate said in a statement.
Prince Al-Waleed is ranked at No. 34 on the Forbes list of the world's richest people.
“Philanthropy is a personal responsibility, which I embarked upon more than three decades ago and is an intrinsic part of my Islamic faith," he added. “With this pledge, I am honoring my life-long commitment to what matters most – helping to build a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable world for generations to come.”
Earlier this year, the 60-year-old came under fire for allegedly promising luxury Bentley cars to fighter pilots carrying out bombing raids in Yemen. However, his latest move, which has been modeled on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, turned Al-Waleed into an inspiration for philanthropists around the world.
The Saudi royal does not hold an official government position. However, he is chairman of self-made investment firm Kingdom Holding Company and has made it clear that he’ll be donating his personal wealth, which is separate from his ownership in the company.