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NEWS RELEASE - New report launched on Day of the African Child unveils next steps for EU in fight against malaria

16 June 2009
New report launched on Day of the African Child unveils next steps for EU in fight against malaria
Malaria, the biggest killer of African children claims about 800,000 lives a year1

London, UK: EMBARGOED until 12.01am CEST 16 June 2009 – A new report has launched today on the progress made by EU member states in the effort to reach universal goals in controlling and preventing malaria. The report examines whether the activities of European Union donors are in line with the agreed Global Malaria Action Plan (GMAP) strategy to achieve universal elimination of the disease and provides the latest insight into the commitments made to date.

Solutions to combat malaria do exist and many countries are currently meeting their commitments to the GMAP; however universal access to prevention and treatment in malaria-endemic countries can only be achieved with continued donor commitment. This report highlights an existing funding gap which must be addressed if the incidence of malaria is to be halted and reversed by 2015, as called for in Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 6 and the GMAP. An increase of funding of up to four times the present level is required and sustained commitment is necessary from all EU member states to fill the large resource gap.2

As the biggest global donor of development and humanitarian assistance2, the European Union, (European Commission and European member states collectively) has an important role to play in malaria elimination. Official Development Assistance (ODA), into which malaria funding falls, is pledged as a percentage of Gross National Income (GNI) of EU member states. In the current global financial crisis, reduced GNIs have resulted in a shortfall in malaria financing. In response to this, the report calls for the EU and its member states to increase funding in real terms, as malaria is a public health priority which requires sustained contributions at all levels.

In addition to funding commitments, the report recommends that EU member states must also refine their focus, investing in health system strengthening with improved targeting of service delivery that benefits rural and isolated communities. Partnerships with all stakeholders and sectors are also critical and aid must be aligned with recipient country strategies to contribute to the ultimate achievement of the GMAP objectives.

Awa Marie Coll-Seck, Executive Director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership said, “Continued efforts towards implementing the GMAP are crucial as malaria is a treatable and preventable disease, yet it is still responsible for 1 in 5 of all childhood deaths in Africa. This new report recognises the vital contributions of many of the EU member states but it also reinforces the fact that sustained commitment is necessary from all EU member states if we are to succeed in our efforts to reverse the incidence of malaria, one of the most deadly diseases worldwide.”

Despite highlighting funding gaps, this report also identifies a number of success stories. For example, the UK government has increased financial support year on year to invest in much needed research at a sum close to £10m in 2007.2 Overall, the UK is shown to be the only EU member state to invest across the board in research and development, as outlined by the GMAP.2 These investments will improve the impact of programmes that tackle malaria such as insecticide treated nets, insecticide sprays for indoor use and more effective anti-malaria drugs.

Sunil Mehra, Executive Director of Malaria Consortium said, “Experience has shown us that smart investments into malaria can have a real impact in fighting this terrible scourge. It is very encouraging that the UK government has shown continued and ongoing commitment to meeting the GMAP objectives.”

The European Alliance Against Malaria commissioned the report entitled „Contributing to Global Action: the European Union and the Fight Against Malaria‟.

The report launched today on the Day of the African Child. It is a timely reminder of the urgent need to protect and treat African children from malaria as around 800,000 children in Africa die of malaria every year.1 Much of the impact of malaria on children can be prevented with simple interventions, as long as necessary funding is in place.

-Ends-
Notes to Editors

About the Global Malaria Action Plan (GMAP)
In an effort to control malaria and save the lives of the millions of adults and children who die from the disease every year the Roll Back Malaria Partnership launched the GMAP in September 2008, creating a comprehensive blueprint for global malaria control and elimination. For further information on the GMAP, please visit www.rollbackmalaria.org/gmap
About European Alliance Against Malaria (EAAM)

The European Alliance Against Malaria is a committed group of civil society organisations from Brussels, France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom all working in the field of global health and development. The Alliance aims, through advocacy, to increase funding and improve malaria programmes, demanding rigorous and resolute action to fight malaria as part of global efforts to reduce poverty and meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

About Malaria Consortium
Malaria Consortium is lead UK partner of the EAAM. Malaria Consortium is the world‟s leading not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the control of malaria and applies its depth of technical expertise and practical experience to develop smarter solutions that improve and save lives. Through innovation, Malaria Consortium increases the impact of malaria and disease control programmes so that they benefit all communities, including delivery in the most challenging environments. Malaria Consortium has pioneered best practices and approaches, setting the standards that others now follow. Malaria Consortium is headquartered in London, United Kingdom, with over 90% of its staff based in malaria-endemic countries supporting Ministries of Health and partners in over twenty countries. For more information, please visit www.malariaconsortium.org.

Media Contacts
For a full copy of the report and/or more information about available spokespeople please contact:
Beth Williams
Consultant
Ruder Finn
Tel: +44 (0)207 462 8918
Email: bwilliams@ruderfinn.co.uk

Karl Deering
Advocacy Manager
Malaria Consortium
Tel: +44 (0) 207 549 0218
Email: k.deering@malariaconsortium.org

References
1. UNICEF and RBM: Malaria and Children: Progress in Intervention Coverage, 2007.
2. Contributing to Global Action: the European Union and the Fight Against Malaria. European Alliance Against Malaria. June

 

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