The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced the launch of a public-private effort to accelerate progress toward eliminating or controlling ten neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by the end of the decade.
To that end, the Gates Foundation, the World Bank, thirteen pharmaceutical companies, a number of global health organizations will work to sustain or expand existing drug donation programs to meet demand through 2020 and share expertise and compounds to accelerate research and development of new drugs. It is expected that the initiative will generate more than $785 million in support of R&D efforts and drug distribution programs. To bolster their commitment and help track the effort's progress, the partners also endorsed the London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Individual commitments include $363 million over five years from the Gates Foundation in support of NTD product and operational research; a total of $40 million from UAE president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Gates Foundation, and the Children's Investment Fund Foundation to the Carter Center for guinea worm eradication efforts; and, building on the $212 million it has invested since 2006, $89 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development to strengthen drug delivery and distribution programs.
"Today, we have joined together to increase the impact of our investments and build on the tremendous progress made to date," said Gates Foundation co-chair Bill Gates. "This innovative approach must serve as a model for solving other global development challenges and will help millions of people build self-sufficiency and overcome the need for aid."