MMV welcomes George Osborne and Bill Gates’ £3 billion pledge for malaria

MMV welcomes George Osborne and Bill Gates’ £3 billion pledge for malaria

UK Chancellor George Osborne and Bill Gates announced their commitment of £3 billion to malaria over the next 5 years at the Liverpool School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The pledge comprises £500 million a year from Britain’s overseas aid budget for the next 5 years, as well as USD 200 million this year from the Gates Foundation, with more donations to follow. The pledge will help fill the gap in funding needed to meet the World Health Organization (WHO)/Roll back Malaria (RBM) target to reduce malaria deaths by 90% by 2030.

“When it comes to human tragedy, no creature comes close to the devastation caused by the mosquito,” the two wrote in a joint article in the Times. “We both believe that a malaria-free world has to be one of the highest global health priorities.”

Thanks to a concerted international push to scale-up control measures, including bed-nets, insecticides and medicines, there has been extraordinary progress to save lives from malaria: Deaths have been cut by 60 percent in the last 15 years with over 6 million lives saved. Nevertheless, almost half a million people continue to die each year – mostly young children.

In RBM’s Action and Investment to Defeat Malaria 2016–2030 document, experts outline that over USD 100 billion is needed to achieve the 2030 target, with an additional USD 10 billion needed to fund research and development of new tools, including new drugs and insecticides.

“We at MMV welcome this joint commitment by the Gates Foundation and the UK government to fill the gap in funding needed to defeat malaria,” said Dr David Reddy, MMV’s CEO. “The malaria community has made incredible progress to push the disease back, but as history has taught us, the moment we see progress is not the moment to rest on our laurels or we risk losing all the gains made. This is the moment to accelerate our efforts to meet our goals and this commitment will enable us to do that.”

This announcement by the UK Department for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is an important sign of continued commitment to tackling and ultimately eradicating malaria.

Read more about Bill Gates' and George Osborne's visit to the IVCC on the IVCC website.