Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal announced on Wednesday during a press conference his intention to donate his $32 billion to charity, in a pledge modelling the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Bin Talal said that the donations would go towards promoting health, eradicating diseases, providing electricity to villages, building orphanages, providing disaster relief and empowering women through his foundation, Alwaleed Philanthropies.
"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,” his statement said.
"Philanthropy is a personal responsibility, which I embarked upon more than three decades ago and is an intrinsic part of my Islamic faith. 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,” he added.
Bin Talal said he was inspired by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which was created in 1997. The foundations works to improve health care, education and reduce extreme poverty around the world.
It has asked wealthy businessmen to pledge the majority of their wealth to philanthropy and counts Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook as pledgers.
The Prince said that there was no deadline for donating all of the wealth, and it will be donated gradually. He will continue to retain his publicly-listed investment business, Kingdom Holding.
Bin Talal, 60, is placed 34th in the American business magazine Forbes’ annual list of richest people.