United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said at a Roll Back Malaria event on Thursday that funding programs that fight malaria save lives and speed up economic progress, and encouraged African leaders to fund more programs.
Ban said that the Millennium Development Goal had reached only half of the $5 billion that was needed to reach everyone.
"As one [World Health Organization] official put it, this "half" amount can be seen as a glass half full or half empty," Ban said. "We would all prefer to see the glass half full. But for too many people, the glass is half empty. This is true for parents who have no nets to cover their children and patients who cannot get treatment. It is also true for the displaced families who run from conflict after so much loss - and then have to struggle against malaria as well."
Ban said malaria affects the most vulnerable people, including children.
"Eight out of every 10 [Central African] refugees arriving in Cameroon are affected by malaria and other diseases," Ban said. "Even in secure parts of Africa, where governments are strong and societies are at peace, hundreds of thousands of people fall ill and die from preventable diseases every year."
Ban said governments, donors and private sector contributors need to increase their funding to support efforts to control malaria around the world.