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Funding to fight malaria falls $2 billion short of WHO target, study shows

Published on 26/04/19 at 10:00am

Global spending on the fight against malaria has stalled, falling $2 billion short of World Health Organization (WHO) targets, according to a study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

Total spending on the fight against malaria reached $4.3 billion in 2016. However the figure falls far short of the goal of $6.6 billion set by the WHO.

“A persistent challenge remains as funds are stagnating,” said Dr Joseph Dieleman from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “More resources are needed. This is particularly evident in the poorest countries, especially as they seek to control, or even eliminate, the disease.”

The study, published in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, tracked spending on malaria between 2000 and 2016.

The study showed sources of funding had changed dramatically over 17 years.  While more than half (55.3%, or $643 million) of all funding had come from governments in 2000, governments provided just more than a quarter of funding (28.2% or $1.2 billion) in 2016.

Meanwhile government funding accounted for 60.1% of global spending on HIV/ AIDS in 2016.

In contrast development assistance spending was a major driver of overall growth in malaria spending between 2000 and 2016 increasing at a rate of 18% a year. However development assistance spending has plateaued in recent years.

“We are 11 years away from the date set by the United Nations for 'ending the epidemic' of malaria," lead author Annie Haakenstad said. "The world is watching, and unless more financial resources emerge, that goal will represent a great lost opportunity.”  

Overall the US government has been the largest source of funds in the fight against malaria since 2008. Meanwhile the Global Fund contributed $1 billion in development assistance accounting for 42.6% of the total.

Louis Goss

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