Gates Foundation, UAE Launch $100M Reaching The Last Mile Fund To Eradicate River Blindness, Lymphatic Filariasis

Devex: Exclusive: New $100M fund to eradicate river blindness and lymphatic filariasis
“Abu Dhabi’s crown prince and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Wednesday launched a $100 million fund to eliminate river blindness and lymphatic filariasis from key countries in Africa and the Middle East. Reaching the Last Mile Fund is a 10-year facility that will be hosted at the END Fund, a multi-donor platform focused on neglected tropical diseases. Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will contribute $20 million to the fund, and the Gates Foundation will add up to $20 million. This confluence of influential backing then hopes to ‘kickstart a rally of donors’ to the fund, said Maha Barakat, board member of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership…” (Dickinson, 11/15).

Emirates News Agency: Mohamed bin Zayed launches ‘Reaching the Last Mile’ fund to raise US$ 100 million
“…His Highness Sheikh Mohamed said, ‘The UAE, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, continues to provide regional and international support for humanitarian, developmental, and health initiatives that target countries and communities in need. The launch of this fund is part of international efforts to rid the world of two debilitating and preventable diseases’…” (11/15).

The National: Reaching the Last Mile: New $100m fund announced in Abu Dhabi
“…Watched by an international audience of experts, leaders, and health experts, Mr. Gates was presented with the Federation Medal, one of the country’s highest awards, by Sheikh Mohammed in recognition of his contribution to supporting disease eradication. The Crown Prince also presented a new award that acknowledges outstanding contributions made by individuals in the fight against disease. Among those honored was former President Jimmy Carter, whose Carter Center has been in the forefront of combating Guinea worm disease…” (Al Nowais/Langton, 11/15).

Wall Street Journal: Gates Foundation, Abu Dhabi Pair to Fight Forgotten Diseases
“…Beyond the capital commitments, GlaxoSmithKline PLC and Merck & Co. are also supporting the eradication effort. GSK will supply treatment to deworm children in target countries while Merck will donate the medication ivermectin to treat parasites linked to lymphatic filariasis and river blindness…” (Wonacott/McKay, 11/15).

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