2 JULY 2009, LONDON: On the eve of the G8 Summit, and ten years after the Group of Eight made concrete commitments to tackle malaria, the European Alliance Against Malaria (EAAM) launches a report that investigates whether their promises have been kept.
The new report looks at the decade since the 1998 G8 Summit held in Birmingham, when leaders agreed to increase efforts to tackle malaria and endorsed the Roll Back Malaria Partnership with the goal of halving the malaria burden by 2010.
The report reveals that the past decade has seen significant progress, with G8 countries contributions to malaria steadily increasing – from an estimated US$ 18 million in 1998 to just over a US$1 billion in 2007 (though data is not complete). However, the shortfall of what is still required to tackle malaria remains huge.
“Whilst we applaud G8 countries for their increased funding and political commitment to malaria in the past decade, this report highlights the serious shortfall we are facing,” said Sunil Mehra, Executive Director of Malaria Consortium in the UK. “The estimated funding we need to tackle malaria annually amounts to more than the total committed over the past ten years by G8 nations. They have given just under four billion in a decade – we need more than that in a single year”.
The report, written by Malaria Consortium, finds that successive UK governments have demonstrated leadership with regard to investment in malaria research, something that several of their G8 peers have regrettably neglected. But it also illustrates the difficulties in tracking malaria funding in order to be able to accurately monitor donor nation’s commitments, and makes recommendations on how to improve this situation.
“We lack full and transparent tracking mechanisms for donor’s contribution which means that in part we can only estimate – and even underestimate – the true contributions made by G8 countries, “ said Mr Mehra. “What we require are malaria and other major disease-specific reporting categories and measurement indicators in order to be able to demonstrate whether G8 contributions are on track or not.”
EAAM chose to focus on the G8 due to the vital role it has to play in the fight against malaria as it has both the economic and political power to bring about real change. Malaria remains one of the most deadly diseases, with 40% of the world’s population at risk. In 2006, there were an estimated 247 million malaria cases, causing nearly a million deaths.
UN Special Envoy for Malaria, Ray Chambers, said, “I congratulate EAAM for producing this report on the G8’s commitments on malaria and urge G8 leaders when they meet in Italy to set out how they will fulfil their 2008 promises, especially their commitment to deliver 100 million bed nets for Africa by the end of 2010. I also urge each G8 country to clarify its strategy for helping to achieve the UN Secretary-General’s goals for the universal provision of malaria-control interventions by December 31, 2010 to all those at risk of the disease in Sub-Saharan Africa. “
Copies of the report can be found at http://www.europeanallianceagainstmalaria.org/uploads/media/G8_Report.pdf with the Executive Summary available as a seperate document here.
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EAAM is a committed group of civil society organizations from Brussels, France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom working to increase funding and improve malaria programmes. EAAM is determined to build on the global momentum to conquer malaria – a disease that is entirely preventable and treatable, yet which kills nearly a million people a year, costs Africa and its poorest $12 billion annually and will hamper global efforts to reduce poverty.
EAAM also launched a report on Day of the African Child (June 16) which unveiled the next steps for EU in fight against malaria. Click here to view.