Millions of people suffering from neglected tropical diseases may soon see relief with fresh funding and a new global partnership announced Jan. 30 at an international conference in London, United Kingdom.
The United States, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank, 13 pharmaceutical companies and a number of other global health organizations have joined forces in a new coordinated effort to accelerate control and elimination of 10 neglected tropical diseases by 2020.
The new partnership has three goals: sustain or expand current drug donation programs, share expertise to boost research and development, and mobilize some $785 million to support research and development, drug distribution and project implementation.
To support these goals, the Gates Foundation made a five-year, $363 million commitment for NTD operational and product research while the pharmaceutical firms pledged to donate up to 1.4 million medication packages annually. The U.S. Agency for International Development, for its part, pledged $89 million to strengthen drug distribution initiatives.
Also in London, the Carter Center has secured $40 million in donations from the Gates Foundation, the UAE president and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation to close the funding gap for the center’s campaign to eliminate Guinea worm disease by 2015. The U.S.-based group is a key partner of the World Health Organization in fighting this water-borne tropical disease.
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