Billionaire philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates Bill have announced that they will part after 27 years of marriage. However, they will keep working together at the foundation named after them. It is one of the largest charitable foundations in the world, set up in the year 2000.

"We continue to share a belief in (our) mission and will continue our work together at the foundation. But we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives,” their statement stated after announcing separation.

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The foundation has been instrumental in donating $53.8 billion for various causes, including gender equality, global health programme, global policy and advocacy and global development programme, among others.

The official website of the charity says that they focus on improving people's health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty in developing countries.

Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Mark Suzman and has over 1600 employees and funds grants in 135 countries.

The total grants payments since inception (through Q4 2019): $54.8 billion which includes grant payments made by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and previous foundations of the Gates family (William H. Gates Foundation, Gates Library Foundation, and Gates Learning Foundation) from 1994 onward, reports moneycantrol.com.

The foundation, last year, had pledged to contribute $250 million to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of the contribution will go towards funding a delivery operation for COVID-19 drugs and vaccines.