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US Billionaire Gives Human Rights Watch $100 Million

U.S. billionaire financier and philanthropist George Soros is donating $100 million to the group Human Rights Watch.

In a statement Tuesday, Human Rights Watch said Soros is giving the grant through his Open Society Foundations, which he established to promote tolerance and democracy around the world.

Human Rights Watch says Soros is donating the money over 10 years and has challenged the organization to raise an additional $100 million in matching private contributions. Human Rights Watch accepts no government funding.

The New York-based organization says the grant is intended to allow Human Rights Watch to staff advocacy offices in key regional capitals around the world and use its influence to push emerging powers towards pro-human rights agendas.

Soros called Human Rights Watch "one of the most effective organizations I support" - and said human rights are at the heart of all open societies. Soros runs the Soros Fund Management investment firm and is known for his philanthropic activities.

Human Rights Watch said the $100 million grant is the largest gift Soros has given to a non-governmental organization.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.