حفلة 2024

COP28: Donors pledge $777 million to fight NTDs in Africa

During the Reaching the Last Mile (RLM) Forum at COP28, global donors pledged $777 million to combat neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), highlighting the importance of partnerships and collective efforts.

This initiative, in association with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is focused on eliminating two NTDs, namely river blindness and lymphatic filariasis, from Africa.

The event was organised by RLM, a worldwide humanitarian effort backed by the President of the UAE, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

“Initiatives like Reaching the Last Mile Forum stimulate ideas and opportunities that can impact real people facing the real challenges of NTDs in their daily lives. Together, we can free people suffering from the pain and stigma of NTDs like leprosy, creating pathways to true healing and renewed hope,” said Sir Christopher Hohn, founder and chair of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF).

He further added that it was “unacceptable” that countless children are afflicted by NTDs when preventative medications and treatments are readily accessible at a minimal cost.

“The climate crisis will only increase the burden of these diseases,” he stated.

“We commit to reaching preschool children in 14 African countries with 138 million additional deworming treatments by June 2026, co-delivered with life-saving vitamin A; testing delivery of paediatric praziquantel; and advocating for scaling up azithromycin distribution in high-mortality settings, using community delivery platforms.” according to Shawn Baker, chief programme officer, Helen Keller International.

Moreover, Dr. Caroline Harper, CBE, CEO of Sightsavers, announced a commitment of $60 million in fresh funding to combat five diseases: trachoma, river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, and intestinal worms.

“Climate change poses a significant challenge to progress in the fight against malaria, neglected tropical diseases, and other health threats. However, with the commitments and investments announced this week, we are taking an important step towards a world free from these diseases,” stated Dr. David Walton, US global malaria coordinator of USAID.

Tom Hall, global head of social impact and philanthropy at UBS Optimus Foundation, added: “We believe in the power of partnerships, like this initiative, to deliver transformative, scalable, and sustainable solutions that can drive measurable impact.”

 

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