Financier Soros gives $100 million to rights group

Tue Sep 7, 2010 10:23am EDT
 
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Billionaire financier George Soros is donating $100 million to Human Rights Watch over the next 10 years, the group said on Tuesday.

The grant from Soros' Open Society Foundations is the largest Soros has ever made to a non-governmental organization, Human Rights Watch said in a statement.

The gift is the first in a series of large donations he intends to make, Soros, 80, said in an interview published on Tuesday in the New York Times. "This is partly due to age," he said.

The terms of the grant challenge New York-based Human Rights Watch to raise another $100 million in private contributions on its own, a goal it expects to meet, said spokeswoman Emma Daly.

"Human Rights Watch is one of the most effective organizations I support," Soros said in a statement. "Human Rights Watch can have even greater impact by being genuinely international in scope."

The grant is intended to help the human rights watchdog group expand internationally to staff offices in key world capitals and enhance research into "countries of concern," the group said.

The Times said Soros has given about $700 million to various causes this year, including the Human Rights Watch donation. Forbes magazine estimated Soros' fortune at $14 billion this year.

(Reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Bill Trott)

 
<p>U.S. billionaire investor George Soros waits to deliver a speech at the Humboldt university in Berlin, June 23, 2010. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz</p>