At the conclusion of its 23rd meeting in Dakar Senegal last Friday (7th December) the Roll Back Malaria Partnership Board has highlighted a $2.4billion funding gap for 8 African countries for the next two years.
“Africa has made enormous progress in fighting malaria, but we have to ensure, as a continent, that this funding is sustained; we risk backsliding if we don’t act fast. The gaps in funding will have serious consequences if they are not filled; lives will be lost and our battle against poverty derailed” the RBM Board Chair, DrMakwenge Kaput, Honorary Minister of Health and Member of Parliament of the Democratic Republic of Congo said while addressing the closing session.
Out of a $6.8 billion budget, $3.2 billion has been mobilized leaving a $3.6 billion gap.
Serious funding gaps have been identified in eight African countries – Nigeria, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Mauritania, Niger, and Sierra Leone, where some $2.4 billion is needed to maintain their malaria prevention and treatment efforts over the next two years, “with Nigeria alone requiring nearly half that amount,”
Overall, out of a total of US$6.8 billion required, US$3.2 billion has been mobilized leaving a US$3.6 billion gap to make sure all affected countries in Africa have enough insecticide treated nets, effective treatments and rapid diagnostic tests for all populations at risk of malaria to achieve the target of near-zero deaths by 2015.
Maintaining that “fresh ideas and new thinking about financing mechanisms” is needed “that will reap greater resources for malaria,” the RBM Partnership Executive Director DrNafoTraoré, said “We are exploring all options – financial transaction taxes, airline ticket taxes together with UNITAID, and a “malaria bond”, among others.”
The UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Malaria and Health MDG Advocate, Ray Chambers said “It is unthinkable that we would allow millions of children to lose their protection and wipe away our US$10 billion investment to date by allowing resurgences to occur.” He urged the RBM Partnership Board to immediately implement proposed measures to close the gaps.