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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Event Highlights Desire To Cut Malaria

More than 30African ambassadorsattended a Roll Back Malaria Partnership event hosted by the World BankThursday and agreed to support greater transparency and publicaccountability for the funds being used to combat malaria.

Challenged by an emotional appeal from international singing sensationand UNICEF Regional Spokesperson for Malaria, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, theambassadors agreed their countries would benefit from more clarity on howthey are using funds -- and donors should come clean on exactly how muchthey are contributing.

"I have been all over Africa and it is clear we must work together. NoAfrican country can achieve rapid scale up on their own," Chaka Chaka said after a performance in the World Bank's Atrium. "No one singledonor can fund it all. No one UN agency can support it all. We need to workin partnership -- with recipient country governments, with the privatesector, civil society, and all donors."

On her way to New York to take part in the Youth United Against MalariaConcert, part of a three-day United Nations Global Youth Leadership Summit,Chaka Chaka thanked host World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz for hisleadership on malaria and requested his continued support. Wolfowitz proclaimed that malaria was at the top of the Bank'sdevelopment agenda.

"The Bank obviously cannot combat malaria alone andcoordination is key. Demand for resources is outstripping supply,"Wolfowitz said. "While the Bank, the US and the Global Fund are providingfinancing approaching US$1billion a year, more is clearly needed includingincreased contributions from African countries themselves."

Wolfowitz called on the ambassadors to demonstrate successes so thatfunding could continue to flow.

"We donors," said Wolfowitz, "must live upto our end of the bargain . As countries develop their plans and investtheir own resources and achieve results ... money should not hold them backfrom saving more lives."

The ambassadors committed themselves to be soldiers in the fightagainst malaria to improve infrastructure, ensure accountability, and stop losing 3000 African children a day to a preventable and treatable disease.

To provide a coordinated international approach to fighting malaria,the Roll Back Malaria Partnership was launched in 1998 by the World HealthOrganization (WHO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UnitedNations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank.

The partnership brings together governments of countries affected by malaria, theirbilateral and multilateral development partners, the private sector,non-governmental and community-based organizations, foundations, andresearch and academic institutions around the common goal of halving theglobal burden of malaria by 2010.


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