Roll Back Malaria Partnership warns of $3.6 billion funding shortfall in Africa

The Roll Back Malaria Partnership recently announced that eight African countries are facing a funding gap of $2.4 billion for their malaria control programs.

The partnership's board of directors made the announcement at their 23rd meeting, held in Dakar, Senegal. Approximately $3.6 billion is needed throughout the continent. RBM Partnership Executive Director Nafo Traore said the group needs a new set of ideas to solve the problem.

To maintain their prevention and treatment efforts over the next two years, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Mauritania, Niger and Sierra Leone will need $2.4 billion. Nigeria alone accounts for half of the amount.

"We urgently need fresh ideas and new thinking about financing mechanisms that will reap greater resources for malaria... We are exploring all options - financial transaction taxes, airline ticket taxes together with UNITAID, and a 'malaria bond,'" Traore said, reports.

RBM board chairman Dr. Makwenge Kaput warned of dire consequence if the funding is not found.

"Africa has made enormous progress in fighting malaria, but we have to ensure, as a continent, that this funding is sustained; we risk backsliding if we don't act fast," Makwenge said. "The gaps in funding will have serious consequences if they are not filled; lives will be lost and our battle against poverty derailed."