UK Government Joins Bill Gates in £1bn Malaria Fund

By Gary Cutlack on at

The government is set to announce a complete reworking of its overseas aid budget and plans later this week within the updated Spending Review, but this point's so newsworthy it's being published by the chancellor ahead of time.

It's the setting up of the Ross Fund, a new £1bn joint venture between the UK government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with the ambition of speeding international efforts to banish malaria from the planet.

Gates himself typed up a few words about the deal, saying: "Achieving the eradication of malaria and other poverty related infectious diseases will be one of humanity’s greatest achievements. With the combined skill and expertise of British scientists; leveraging the weight of both public and private financing; and the continued leadership of George Osborne and the UK, today’s announcement of the Ross Fund will play a key role in reaching that goal."

The UK government seems to be sticking in around £300m, contributing £90m that'll be dedicated solely to eradicating malaria, £100m on research into other infectious diseases, plus a further £115m that's going toward developing new drugs to battle malaria, TB and other diseases. [Gov.uk via BBC]

Image credit: Mosquito via Shutterstock