UNITED NATIONS — Financier George Soros is giving $27.4 million to aid development in targeted villages across rural Africa.
Soros is also pledging up to $20 million in loans to support business projects within those villages over the next five years.
The billionaire founder and chairman of the Open Society Foundations thanked his board of directors Monday for backing his pledge to the Millennium Villages project despite early misgivings.
Soros says that board members opposed his giving any donations to the project when it was first launched five years ago, considering it risky. But he gave money anyway, "because it was my money."
Directed by Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University, the villages project operates closely with U.N. agencies.
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