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Blair promises pounds 60m for fight against malaria

THE PRIME Minister has declared war on malaria by backing an international initiative to wipe out the disease.

At the G8 summit in Birmingham yesterday Tony Blair pledged pounds 60m from the Department for International Development (DFID).

The money will go towards a World Health Organisation (WHO) initiative to cut drastically the number of deaths caused by malaria by 2015. Malaria kills more than one million people a year world-wide. A further 500 million are estimated to suffer from the disease, 90 per cent of them in Africa. Mr Blair and the Secretary of State for International Development, Clare Short, paid tribute to the WHO director-general, Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, who promised this week to make the battle against malaria a priority for her leadership.