LONDON – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria joined leaders at the Malaria Summit London 2018 to call for reducing malaria by one half across the Commonwealth in the coming five years. Collective action aims to prevent 350 million cases of malaria and save 650,000 lives, predominately children and pregnant women who are most at risk.
The Global Fund acts as a catalyst for mobilizing resources, and through co-financing mechanisms has leveraged US$355 million of donor funding to generate US$2 billion in domestic public funding in 46 countries affected by malaria.
“To defeat an infectious disease like malaria you have to hit it hard – and you have to keep hitting it until it’s gone,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “There are compelling, hard-nosed economic reasons for ridding the world of malaria. We risk a resurgence, and we can’t let that happen.”
Since 2000, extraordinary progress has been made in the fight against malaria, with sharp reductions in malaria cases and deaths. But those declines have stalled and even reversed in some regions, while global investments have plateaued. Malaria still kills about 450,000 people a year – including a young child every two minutes – and there is a risk of resurgence as mosquitoes become more resistant to insecticides and malaria parasites become resistant to the current first-line treatments.
The Malaria Summit was co-hosted by the governments of the UK, Swaziland and Rwanda as part of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, and convened by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, to galvanize more funding.
The Global Fund is increasingly using co-financing mechanisms to ensure that donor contributions to fight malaria are matched by domestic investment.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced it will extend its investments in malaria by an additional US$1 billion (£700 million) through 2023 to fund research and development efforts and to reduce the burden of the disease.
The UK Government re-affirmed its commitment to spend £500 million a year on malaria to 2020-21, and announced a further £100 million commitment to the Global Fund to match new contributions from private donors pound for pound. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged £50 million in matching funds, and the Global Fund committed to raising another £50 million among the private sector.
Uganda committed to establishing a dedicated malaria fund – the Presidential Malaria Fund Uganda – to help mobilize additional resources of US$785 million by 2020 to accelerate national progress against malaria.
The Global Fund is a 21st-century partnership organization designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics. Founded in 2002, the Global Fund is a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by the diseases. The Global Fund raises and invests nearly US$4 billion a year to support programs run by local experts in countries and communities most in need.