Announced at a convening hosted by the fund at the World Economic Forum, Alwaleed Philanthropies’ commitment will support the fund’s efforts to control and eliminate NTDs, with a focus on countries in Africa and the Middle East. At press time, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was expected to announce a commitment in support of the fund, to which it has awarded more than $16 million since 2012.
In addition, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation announced grants totaling nearly $12 million as part of an effort to end blinding trachoma in Mali and Niger by 2020. The grants include $5.1 million to the Carter Center, $5.975 million to Helen Keller International, and $650,000 to Sightsavers, Inc.
Since its founding in 2012, the END Fund has raised more than $70 million and supported the treatment of over a hundred million people at risk of NTDs, while training hundreds of thousands of health workers, teachers, and volunteers in NTD prevention, control, and treatment strategies.
"As philanthropists, it is critical that we make sure every dollar we invest in tackling disease, poverty, and injustice delivers the greatest possible social return," said HRH Princess Lamia bint Majed AlSaud, secretary general of Alwaleed Philanthropies. "This is why we are proud to partner with the END Fund in the fight to tackle the scourge of neglected tropical diseases, which affects over 1.6 billion people around the world."
"Targeting the end of the five most common neglected tropical diseases really is a ‘best buy’ in global health," said END Fund CEO Ellen Agler. "The short-term transformation in individuals’ well-being after treatment is startling, but so too is the long-term impact on national economic development and poverty alleviation for millions."