Dubai: Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud has decided to pledge his entire fortune, valued at $32 billion, to charity after witnessing first hand the “challenging conditions” faced by people around the world.
The member of the royal family, who was recently named one of the world’s top 25 self-made billionaires, announced on Wednesday that he will donate all of his money to philanthropy over the coming years to help build a “better world of tolerance, acceptance, equality and opportunity for all.”
The vast fortune will be used to help alleviate poverty, eradicate diseases, provide electric power to remote villages, build orphanages and schools, provide disaster relief and empower women and youth.
As to why he’s made the decision to donate his entire wealth, Alwaleed said he has seen first hand how many people around the world have suffered due to the dire situations they are in.
“Everyone goes through certain life-changing situations that have a great effect on his or her crucial future decisions. I have had the opportunity to witness, first hand, the challenging conditions of many communities across the globe, and have stood among those who were suffering and in great need,” Al Waleed said in a statement issued to the media.
“I have also learned of overwhelming obstacles through meetings with the leaders of countries and communities around the world.”
At a press conference in Saudi Arabia, Alwaleed said that since the size of his fortune is so “immense”, he intends to have it distributed globally, although the priority will be Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Arab region.
“This will go to humanity, which has no religion, no race and no sex. The radius of our contribution will cover the whole globe, not just [Arabs or Islamic countries],” Alwaleed said.
Alwaleed has been active in philanthropy for more than 35 years, donating $3.5 billion so far through the Alwaleed Philanthropies, whose board of trustees he currently chairs.
Below is Alwaleed’s pledge announcement in its entirety:
Pledge Announcement Speech
Early in my life I had a dream that I have always hoped to realize. I have thought about it most of my days and have shared it with some of my closest friends and family for more than a quarter of a century. I wished to wake up one day to see a world of tolerance, acceptance, equality and opportunity – for all.
In order to make this dream come true, I wished to contribute to the elimination of poverty and famine, and to support development, health and education in the most deprived communities. I wished to encourage social entrepreneurship to achieve long-term, sustainable change both locally and globally. I wished to alleviate the suffering from the pain of economic scarcity.
Based on my dedication and passion for philanthropic work for the past 35 years, I now pledge to donate my entire wealth to the Alwaleed Philanthropies, which work in the main fields of intercultural understanding and supporting needy communities, through health promotion, eradication of diseases, provision of electric power to remote villages and hamlets and building orphanages and schools, and much more. As well as providing disaster relief and empowering women, youth and poverty alleviation. This donation will be allocated according to a well-devised plan throughout the coming years. It will be based on a strategy that is supervised and managed by a board of trustees headed by me to ensure that it will be used after my death for humanitarian projects and initiatives.
Since most of my wealth was achieved from this blessed country, I have made giving back to Saudi Arabia my number one priority, after which our philanthropic efforts will extend to countries around the world in accordance with the regulations governing charitable activities.
You may rightly wonder, why am I doing this? My response is that everyone goes through certain life-changing situations that have a great effect on his or her crucial future decisions. I have had the opportunity to witness, first hand, the challenging conditions of many communities across the globe, first hand, and have stood among those who were suffering and in great need. I have also learned of overwhelming obstacles through meetings with the leaders of countries and communities around the world.
In addition, my foundations have been collaborating with other philanthropic organizations, NGOs, governments and non-profits for decades. Our work is far- reaching, providing humanitarian assistance to ease poverty and famine, supporting development, health and education, and encouraging long-term, sustainable change for the better.
Given the world’s current economic and social conditions, and the devastating effects of war and natural disasters around the world, more collaborative efforts are required from all capable individuals to unify their stand in the effort to alleviate poverty in the most deprived communities and to advance and build their societies.
I am making this announcement today as an illustration of God Almighty’s blessings, following His words in the Holy Qura’an: “But tell of the favors of your Lord,” (AlDhoha). As I see it, the time has come for me to share all that I have to support communities through my foundation, Alwaleed Philanthropies, which aims to initiate and support projects worldwide regardless of religion, race or gender. For 35 years, Alwaleed Philanthropies have developed and sustained projects in more than 92 countries. We collaborate with a wide range of philanthropic, governmental and educational organizations to combat poverty, empower women and youth, to develop communities, provide disaster relief and to nurture cultural understanding through education. Together, we can build bridges for a more compassionate, tolerant and accepting world. Ours is a belief in humanity without boundaries and a commitment towards all.