Renewable energy projects in Africa will benefit from the largesse of Atlanta businessman Ted Turner.
NEW YORK, New York – Three years ago, Turner established the United Nations Foundation to disburse $1 billion of his own money over ten years to the United Nations. The bulk of his eighth and latest round of philanthropy will improve energy and reduce the spread of HIV and AIDS among young people in Africa. The latest funding is $16 million, of which more than $12 million will go to AIDS prevention projects in eight countries in southern Africa that have been affected by the AIDS pandemic. The total grants for this cycle is considerably lower than in the past, partly due to a smaller number of proposals presented. “We are extremely proud of this strong package of community-based projects addressing the social, economic and health challenges associated with HIV/AIDS in Africa,” says Foundation president Tim Wirth. The latest round of grants brings Turner’s total donation to $317 million. Funding will help the U.N. meet the energy needs of developing countries through three grants and two others will support energy efficiency investments in nations with high greenhouse gas emissions. “We try to be thematic in our round of grants and, this time, we targeted solicitations strictly from projects working on HIV/AIDS and energy efficiency,” explains Foundation spokesman David Harwood. “It just so happened that U.N. projects on energy are just getting started, so there were fewer proposals submitted. But if you notice the scale of funding for HIV/AIDS projects, you will see there are a fair amount that we are supporting.” One of the grants involves $1.6 million over four years to the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) to provide renewable energy to poor rural communities in Brazil, and another involves $75,000 over six months to the U.N. Department of Economic & Social Affairs in China to address the energy needs of the rural poor. It will fund $100,000 over six months to the World Bank to enable large commercial investments in energy efficiency projects in Brazil, China and India, three of the largest greenhouse gas-emitting developing countries.