News release: Day of the African Child - The EU must tackle Malaria to achieve the Millennium Development Goals16 June 2008
Malaria accounts for one in five of all childhood deaths in Africa. 2000 will die while the global community commemorates the Day of the African Child. Each year, approximately 300 to 500 million malaria infections lead to over one million deaths, of which over 80% - around 800,000 a year-occur among African children. The rapid spread of resistance to antimalarial drugs, coupled with poverty, and especially weak health infrastructures, means that malaria targets are not yet being met. Those who survive malaria will have to cope with its consequences: Anemia, low birth-weight, epilepsy, and neurological problems, all frequent after-effects of malaria, are often unrecognized or inadequately managed and compromise the health and development of millions of children in Africa. Yet much of the impact of malaria on the world's children could be prevented with currently available interventions.
Over the past decade, international funding for malaria control has risen more than tenfold and malaria has been included among major international development targets, notably the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the targets set at the 2000 Abuja Summit on Roll Back Malaria.
Yet, despite the recent momentum, figures show that much more is still needed in the fight against malaria. The proportion of children across sub- Saharan Africa sleeping under insecticide-treated nets is only 8 per cent. There is a global requirement of about $3 billion a year to make sure malaria is controlled by 2015 and currently, approximately $1 billion per year is available for malaria resources. Funding increases should accelerate research into new tools that reduce the malaria burden and strengthen national health systems.
The Member States should confirm at the European Council on June 19th/20th their long-term commitment to spending 0.7% of their gross national income (GNI) on official development assistance (ODA), with an interim target of 0.56 % of GNI to be reached by 2010.
This means a doubling of the EU's annual ODA to more than EUR 66 billion in 2010. In this context, the European Alliance Against Malaria wishes to express concern at the recent decrease in collective ODA volume from 0.41 % of GNI in 2006 to 0.38 % in 2007.
The European Alliance Against Malaria calls upon the heads of the European Member States, meeting at the European Council on June 19th/20th, to agree on the ambitious EU MDG Action Plan and to establish timetables for providing more, better and faster aid.
The European Alliance Against Malaria is a committed group of 12 civil society organizations from Brussels, France, Germany, Spain and the UK working for a malaria-free world. Focused on European action in a global context, we aim through advocacy to increase funding and improve programming for malaria, demanding concrete and resolute action as part of global efforts to reduce poverty and meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Malaria Consortium is an organisation dedicated to improving delivery of prevention and treatment to combat malaria and other communicable diseases in Africa and Asia. We work with communities, health systems, government and non-government agencies, academic institutions, and local and international organisations, to ensure good evidence supports delivery of effective services. More than 90% of our human and technical resources are based in Africa and Asia supporting Ministries of Health and partners in over twenty countries through our offices in Uganda, Mozambique, Sudan, Southern Sudan, Zambia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Thailand and the United Kingdom.
For more details:
Delphine Valette , International Advocacy Coordinator, Tel. +44 020 7549 0218, [email protected]
Aude Galli, EU Advocacy and Policy Officer, Tel. +32 (0)2 235 0911, [email protected]