The Inter-American Development Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Carlos Slim Foundation have announced a five-year initiative to eliminate malaria in seven Central American countries and the Dominican Republic by 2022.
With a focus on Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and the DR, the Regional Malaria Elimination Initiative (RMEI) will launch with pooled funds totaling $83.6 million, including up to $37.1 million from IDB to encourage countries to participate in the effort, $31.5 million from the Gates Foundation for a result-based payment system, and $15 million from the Slim Foundation to explore expansion opportunities in countries such as Mexico and Colombia. In turn, the initiative is expected to leverage more than $100 million in domestic public-sector financing and $39 million from existing donor resources to ensure that malaria remains a top health and development priority even as the number of new cases dwindles.
In anticipation of the launch later this year, IDB is reaching out to governments and other potential donors to join the financing facility. "The IDB believes that eliminating malaria can only be achieved through sustained financing for locally tailored approaches, and that's why we're announcing this initiative," said IDB president Luis Alberto Moreno. "By combining IDB resources with local and international contributions to tackle a regional problem, this initiative also exemplifies the 'blended finance' model that will increasingly offer the best means of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals."
(Photo credit of home page image: Global Communities)