Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to donate $3.4bn to ‘end extreme poverty’

Image copyright AFP Image caption The new grants will be split into a wide range of areas

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are to invest as much as $3.4 billion (£2.56bn) in social and scientific advances around the world.

The money will come from the couple’s newly formed Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, from which some of the money will be invested in the UK.

The charity said the aim was to achieve world peace and end extreme poverty within a generation.

The partnership will invest in a wide range of areas, including research on Alzheimer’s, cancer and Alzheimer’s research and development.

Media playback is not supported on this device Mark Zuckerberg shares message with son Max as he signs Facebook comments

“This partnership will give us the chance to tackle some of the toughest problems in the world today,” Zuckerberg and Chan said in a joint statement.

“We are delighted to make this commitment, and we hope it will inspire others to do the same,” they added.

The couple plan to “dedicate to” the partnership the remainder of their personal philanthropic commitments, such as the $1bn they gave to Harvard University last year and the $1bn to promote HIV prevention in Africa in 2014.

Science from dementia to AI

The charity will invest some of its money in the UK, with aims that it highlights on its website.

“Through this initiative, we’re excited to work with a network of like-minded philanthropists, scientists, organisations and individuals, but more importantly, we hope to inspire you,” reads a statement on the Facebook page set up by Zuckerberg and Chan, to which more than 2.2 million people have “liked” it.

They add that the Facebook page is for “an ongoing conversation about our idea to solve world problems through investing in science.”

Later, the charity said it would invest in areas of “social and scientific progress, ranging from Alzheimer’s to cancer and artificial intelligence”.

Scientific grants will be split up into a wide range of categories, but the most significant will be a research project into artificial intelligence.

Zuckerberg and Chan said it would produce “information, models and tools that will help people learn and use data more easily in computing and across a wide range of fields.”

The charity will seek to recruit scientists and other people to work in its labs around the world as well as invest in public university programmes, according to a statement on its website.

“Our mission is to do the most good for the most people,” the charity said.

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