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Coronavirus: Twitter chief Jack Dorsey pledges $1bn to fight pandemic

Twitter founder and boss Jack Dorsey has set aside $1bn (£812m) in stock to help fund relief efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Dorsey, who is also chief executive of the financial payments startup Square, will give the new venture shares from his Square holdings.

The 43-year-old announced the initiative called Start Small in a series of tweets, and said the contribution amounts to 28% of his fortune.

Mr Dorsey, who for years has kept details of his charitable efforts private, said the organisation will disclose all transfers, sales and grants on a public Google sheets document.

Start Small will not be limited to fighting the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Dorsey wrote in a thread of six tweets.

“After we have disarmed this pandemic,” he wrote, the organisation will shift its focus to girls’ health and education, and research into universal basic income – the idea that governments should guarantee a minimum income for all citizens.

Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai tweeted: “Amazing news! Thank you, @Jack, for your generosity and for recognising that educated girls make the world safer and healthier for everyone.”

A US health worker with his head in his hands as the pandemic worsens

Dorsey, whose net worth is estimated at $3.3bn (£2.7bn) by Forbes, also said that he was pledging his stake in Square
instead of Twitter because he owns a bigger portion of the payments processor.

He said that he would pace the sale of the pledged shares over time.

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Last month Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan donated $25m (£20m) to support the US health corps.

A Facebook spokeswoman said the donation was coming from the company and would help cover costs like temporary housing near healthcare sites, childcare costs and licensing fees.

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Coronavirus: Twitter chief Jack Dorsey pledges $1bn to fight pandemic


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