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UN Agencies Welcome US Initiative to Fight Malaria

UN Agencies Welcome New US Initiative to Fight Malaria

New York, Jun 30 2005 2:00PM

Stressing that malaria kills more than 1 million people every year, United Nations agencies today hailed the announcement of a major new United States initiative to fund prevention and treatment in Africa as a great step forward in fighting a disease that casts a terrible shadow across the continent.

"Malaria is a major killer of children in sub-Saharan Africa, taking a child's life every 30 seconds," UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Ann Veneman said, calling the commitment "a great step forward for child health and survival.

"This generous funding from the American people will save young lives. And it will improve the health and development of millions of children. UNICEF will do all it can to support the recipient countries to get the job done," she added of the initiative, which provides funding of $1.2 billion over five years.

"With proven tools of prevention such as insecticide-treated bed nets, proven new methods of delivering them, and proven new drugs to treat malaria, we are in a position to make major strides against this killer," she said.

The Director-General of the UN World Health Organization (WHO), Lee Jong-wook, called the U.S. initiative a timely and substantial boost to global efforts against the disease.

"Malaria casts a terrible shadow across the African continent," he said. "It kills more than one million people every year, most of them children.

Noting that President George W. Bush challenged other donors, foundations and organizations from the public and private sector to contribute to the struggle against malaria, he added: "The World Health Organization looks forward to continuing to work closely with the United States government and other partners to pursue the global goal of rolling back malaria."


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