Abu Dhabi Grants US$25 Million to Global Malaria Partnership – Updates

Abu Dhabi, Feb 10th, 2010 — The Government of Abu Dhabi announced today a grant of US$25 million, over five years, to support the work of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM). Specifically to scale-up malaria control worldwide and contribute to achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by 2015.

Following the signing of the donor agreement, representatives of the Abu Dhabi Health Authority, H. E. Zaid Al Siksek, Chief Executive Officer, and Dr. Oliver Harrison, Director of Public Health ‘&’ Policy of the Abu Dhabi Health Authority, met together with Executive Director Prof Awa Marie Coll Seck and other RBM partners in Europe to exchange views on current plans for reaching international targets and eventually eliminating malaria.

“We are grateful to the Government of Abu Dhabi for this support. It provides a tangible boost to the RBM Partnership and sends an important message of encouragement to the international malaria community. We have evidence of significant progress in many endemic countries and this funding will have a direct impact upon the capacity of the Partnership to accelerate current advances and ensure that countries move closer to the RBM universal coverage targets and the malaria-related UN Millennium Development Goals,” said Executive Director Prof Awa Marie Coll-Seck Malaria is a devastating disease, which kills over 850,000 people annually even though it is both preventable and treatable. Half of the world’s population is at risk of contracting malaria but the disease disproportionately affects the poor who suffer more from the consequences of the disease.

Children and pregnant women are particularly vulnerable. Coordinated efforts have reduced malaria deaths by more than 50 percent in countries like Eritrea, Rwanda and Zambia through the integrated use of mosquito nets, indoor residual spraying and effective medicines, such as artemisinin-based combination therapies.

The UAE is certified by the WHO as a Malaria Free country, with the last recorded case of transmission occurring in 1997. Speaking on behalf of the Government of Abu Dhabi about its donation H. E. Zaid Al Siksek, Chief Executive Officer, Abu Dhabi Health Authority said: “We are proud and pleased to be part of this global philanthropic effort and to support the RBM Secretariat in facilitating RBM’s leading role in ending malaria.

We hope to establish a long-term collaboration with RBM to share experiences and exchange operational knowledge in tackling health challenges.” Over the past two decades, countries such as the UAE have successfully reduced and eliminated the threat of malaria using an effective combination of prevention, diagnosis and treatment. The UAE’s know-how and political and financial commitment to tackling the disease worldwide will bring substantial value to global malaria control efforts.

Present during the signing ceremony was Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, UAE’s Permanent Representative to the UN’s European Headquarters in Geneva.