Fighting Malaria Is a Top Priority: Ambassador Susan Rice Details Plan for Expanding Malaria Efforts

Malaria No More endorses the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) plan to use additional funding in President Obama’s 2017 budget request to expand its malaria elimination efforts across Africa and Asia. The plan was outlined by U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice at a UN Foundation Malaria Champions Summit in Washington, D.C.

Earlier this month, President Obama presented Congress with his 2017 budget proposal, which would increase critical funding for malaria through PMI and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Reaffirming his vision to end malaria as declared in his State of the Union address, the president requested an additional $71 million for PMI and an additional $129 million for malaria from unobligated Ebola funds, for a total malaria budget of $874 million.

“In our interconnected world, threats to public health are serious national security concerns for the U.S. Beating malaria is not only a good thing, but it is a smart thing to do,” Ambassador Rice said at the UN Foundation event.

The U.S. government is a leader in the global fight against this preventable and treatable disease. PMI works to control malaria through tools such as insecticide-treated mosquito nets, intermittent preventative treatment for pregnant women, anti-malarial treatments and rapid diagnostic testing. These efforts target the most vulnerable people, particularly women and children. PMI collaborates with other U.S. government agencies, including the Peace Corps, the Department of Defense, and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), to integrate activities and maximize cost-effective investments.

Since it’s inception in 2005, PMI has benefited from longstanding bipartisan congressional support, enabling it to provide lifesaving treatments in 19 focus countries in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Southeast Asia.

PMI plans to use the increase in funds to:

  • Launch new programs in Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire and Cameroon, and expand activities nationwide in Burkina Faso
  • Continue to work closely with partners in Cambodia and Zambia to accelerate elimination efforts
  • Procure 13.7 million insecticide-treated bed nets in order to ensure 27 million people remain protected from malaria in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Accelerate research, development and evaluation of new malaria tools, focusing on better diagnostics, vector control and medicines

In her remarks about the challenges that malaria presents to the world, Ambassador Rice said: “We must overcome these obstacles. The road won’t be easy, but we must do this. I am very confident that we must succeed.”

The U.S. government cannot eliminate malaria alone. PMI calls on partners throughout the world, as well as endemic countries and communities, to join in supporting these essential and proven interventions.

Malaria No More looks forward to working with Congress and our many partners, including the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets Campaign, to advance this critical funding and ensure we can put an end to malaria.

To learn more about PMI’s work, visit http://www.pmi.gov.

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