Deaths from Malaria could be nearly eliminated in the next 15 years thanks in part to a landmark £3 billion funding commitment announced today by the Chancellor and Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Speaking at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, George Osborne, Bill Gates and International Development Secretary, Justine Greening revealed a significant funding package to ramp up efforts to fight Malaria, centred on a £3 billion commitment over five years and a mission to support the World Health Organisation’s goal of reducing malaria deaths by 90% by 2030, on a path to malaria free world.
The Chancellor George Osborne said:
I am determined that our overseas aid budget is spent on the challenges people in Britain want to see addressed - and those that threaten global and national security.
Across the globe over a billion people are infected with malaria and it’s a cause of both untold misery and lost economic potential.
That’s why, working with Bill Gates, I’m determined that Britain leads the world in the fight against this disease.
Already we’ve made great progress. Now, together with the Gates Foundation we are announcing £3bn over the next five years to start the work on eradicating malaria altogether.
Some of that money will be spent here in the Northern Powerhouse, and the brilliant science we want to see here. The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine is the oldest such institution in the world and is at the cutting edge of the war against malaria.
Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates said:
Britain is a global leader in the fight against deadly diseases like malaria – a disease that still claims the life of a child every minute. From the strength of its scientific community, to the bravery of the ordinary men and women who go out to fight these diseases, the UK’s commitment to global health is building healthier futures for people living in the world’s poorest places and making the world a safer place for all of us.
Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening said:
We can be incredibly proud of Britain’s contribution to the battle against malaria. Thanks to the efforts of the UK and others over the past 15 years, more than six million lives have been saved.
However, malaria still causes one out of ten child deaths in Africa and costs Africa’s economy billions every year. Our new commitment will save countless more lives and build a safer, healthier and more prosperous world for us all which is firmly in the UK’s national interest.
Director of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), Professor Janet Hemingway CBE said:
As the world’s oldest Tropical Medical Institution dedicated to improving health, LSTM is delighted to see the growing partnership between the UK government and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, providing leadership and support to the fight against the global health challenges of malaria and NTDs.
These diseases are indicators and drivers of poverty, and this partnership will help increase know-how, advocacy and funding, making a significant contribution to rapidly reduce the disease burden imposed by these infectious diseases and improve the quality of life for many of the world’s poorest populations.
The funding announced today will mean £500 million a year invested by the UK government for the next five years.
The Gates Foundation will spend $200 million in 2016 to support R&D for malaria and to accelerate regional malaria elimination efforts, with a similar amount over each of the following four years.
Together this amounts to a minimum £3 billion commitment from the two partners to support global efforts to fight malaria.
The announcement builds on the new £1 billion Ross Fund announced by the government and the Gates Foundation in November – named after Sir Ronald Ross, the first-ever British Nobel Laureate who was recognised for his discovery that mosquitoes transmit malaria.
The Ross fund aims to develop, test and deliver a range of new products (including vaccines, drugs and diagnostics) to help combat the world’s most serious infectious diseases in developing countries.
The Ross Fund will target drug resistant infections including malaria and TB, outbreak diseases such as Ebola, and neglected tropical diseases.
The Gates Foundation has committed to a five year partnership with the Ross Fund, aligning efforts with the UK Government to fight infectious disease in developing countries.
Today’s commitment also delivers on the pledge, first made by George Osborne on a visit to Uganda in 2007, to spend £500 million a year battling malaria.
Bill Gates also announced today that his foundation would partner and invest in the Global Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) Research Innovation Fund announced by the Prime Minister and President Xi of China in October 2015.