Africa to Receive New Funding for Rolling back Malaria
    2010-05-06 00:49:10     Xinhua      Web Editor: Jiang Aitao
 

Africa will receive new funding from external donors to fight malaria, a disease threatening development progress of the continent, the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) announced Wednesday at the sidelines of the 20th World Economic Forum on Africa held here in the Tanzanian capital.

The new financial commitments will include funding from the United States President's Malaria Initiative (PMI), ALMA said.

According to Tim Ziemer of the PMI, U.S. President Barack Obama has requested a budget of 680 million U.S. dollars for malaria in 2011, 100 million dollars of which will be used for the purchase of lifesaving malaria prevention and treatment measures in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Nigeria, two countries that together account for nearly half of the world's malaria cases.

Malaria is taking a heavy toll on Africa's economic and social development. It not only kills a child every 30 seconds, but also contributes to the vicious cycle of poverty. The Global Malaria Action Plan estimates that malaria costs the continent 12 billion U.S. dollars each year in direct economic losses, and much more in lost productivity.

ALMA said it has finalized a bulk purchase of 50 million long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) by 12 African countries, which is expected to reduce costs and extend coverage of LLINs for populations threatened by malaria.

Currently, 200 million LLINs are in place, covering half of the at-risk population in Africa, ALMA said, adding that some 150 million additional nets will be produced and delivered by the end of this year. A total of 350 million nets are needed to protect the entire at-risk population in Africa.

Last month, the World Bank also announced a 200-million-dollar new funding for Africa for the purchase of LLINs, ALMA said. The 20th World Economic Forum on Africa, held from May 5 to 7 under the theme "Rethinking Africa's Growth Strategy," is gathering around 1,000 participants from over 80 countries to discuss the continent's development agenda. Participants are expected to exchange ideas on Africa's growth strategy, the continent's response to the global economic crisis, infrastructure development, and peace and security, among others.

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