George Osborne and Bill Gates announce £3 billion pledge to fight malaria

The pledge supports the World Health Organisation’s mission to reduce malaria deaths by 90% by 2030

Monday 25 January 2016 10:51 GMT
The majority of those affected by malaria live in sub-Saharan Africa
The majority of those affected by malaria live in sub-Saharan Africa (Getty )

George Osborne has joined forces with billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates in the fight against malaria by pledging £3 billion to tackle the killer disease.

The Chancellor and the Microsoft founder have set out hopes to wipe out the tropical infection within decades during a visit to the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine to see pioneering research.

Some £500 million a year will be allocated from Britain's international development budget over the next five years and the Gates Foundation will spend £140 million a year on research into the disease.

The disease is mainly spread by mosquitoes and is believed to kill one child a minute. Today’s pledge is part of a mission to support the World Health Organisation’s goal of reducing malaria deaths by 90 per cent by 2030.

Writing in The Times, the pair insisted that "problems such as hunger and disease aren't insoluble".

They wrote: "We are optimistic that in our lifetimes we can eradicate malaria and other deadly tropical diseases, and confront emerging threats, making the world a safer place for all."

"In the world's poorest places, malaria is both a cause and a consequence of poverty. It costs Africa, where poverty is already high, billions of pounds each year in lost productivity, and it accounts for up to 40% of public health expenditure in high burden countries," they added.

"The world has cut the number of malaria deaths in half in the past 15 years. We are confident that this is a war we can win.

"With its world-class universities, pharmaceutical companies and strong support at the national level, the UK leads innovation to improve the health and well-being of millions."

Press Association

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