Soros pledges $27.4 million to African project
4 October 2011
George Soros has pledged $27.4 million (£17.8 million) to aid development in villages across rural Africa.
The money will go towards the Millennium Villages project, which aims to help 500,000 people in ten countries across the continent. Some of the funds will be spent on improving water access, among other developments.
American-Hungarian investor and philanthropist Soros has pledged a further $20 million in loans to support business projects within those villages that are a part of the scheme. He said that he felt the investment was "worth a shot", despite board members opposing the decision.
The Millennium Villages Project's director Jeffrey Sachs, of Columbia University's Earth Institute, said that the scheme operates closely with UN agencies.
"We are thrilled by the rapid gains that the Millennium Village communities are making in their fight against poverty, hunger and disease," he added.
Earlier this month the African Development Bank approved a loan worth $370 million for a road project in Gabon.