Chambers appointed as U.N. special envoy for malaria

The World Health Organization recently announced the appointment of Ray Chambers as the U.N. Secretary-General's special envoy for malaria and for the financing of the health-related millennium development goals.

In the expanded role, Chambers will help to increase funding from the private and public sectors to achieve goals set by the international community to reduce maternal and child mortality, malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and other diseases by 2015.

"Since 2008, Ray Chambers has always been by our side in our battle against malaria as special envoy for malaria," Margaret Chan, the WHO's director-general, said. "Now he will also direct his talents and business experience towards building political will and financial support for the health-related MDGs. At this crucial time, with 2015 fast approaching, Ray Chambers is well placed to help mobilize the resources we urgently need to accelerate progress."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised Chambers' previous work in mobilizing resources to battle malaria.

"Mr. Chambers has been very successful in mobilizing resources and public-private partnership in the fight against malaria," Ban said. "Now, with the urgent need to secure funding for the health-related MDGs, I have asked the special envoy to develop a business plan to ensure that we have the resources to achieve our goals."

Chambers was appointed as special envoy for malaria in February 2008. Since that time, more than $4 billion has been raised for malaria with more than 400 million mosquito nets distributed and millions of treatment courses administered. Chamber's next challenge is increasing funding to bring malaria deaths down to near-zero by the end of 2015.

"The lives of millions of mothers and their babies hang in the balance if we do not meet the goals, and it all comes down to the strength of our collective financial investment," Chambers said. "I am humbled to take on this new role, and look forward to working with all of our partners to leave no stone unturned in what must be an unprecedented effort."