Just before midnight on September 7, southern Mexico was struck by a magnitude 8.1 earthquake that killed at least 98 people. Less than two weeks later, on September 19, the country's central region was struck by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that leveled dozens of buildings and killed at least 369 people. Estimates of the cost of rebuilding range from $2 billion to as much as $4 billion. The Mexico City-based foundation will focus its support on the rebuilding of schools, the repair and reinforcement of historic buildings, and assisting hospitals.
In addition to its own pledge, the foundation also collected more than $21 million from more than 217,000 donors.
While in the past Slim has said he believes businesspeople and entrepreneurs should do what they can to fight poverty, he has not always been convinced that charity is the best way to do so. This latest commitment from the richest man in Mexico is consistent with that view in that it will support efforts to create jobs. "I think it will be a very big factor [in helping the Mexican economy]," Slim said when announcing the pledge. "A big factor of employment in all of the affected zones."
(Photo credit: Gettyimages/Brina Bunt)