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March 18 marks a crucial stage in the fight against malaria as key stakeholders convene in London and Paris for the launch of Malaria Funding and Resource Utilization, the first report in the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Progress & Impact Series. The series—recently launched by the RBM Partnership—benchmarks progress and highlights what is needed to ensure sustained, long-term commitment and success toward ultimately ridding the world of malaria.

The Progress & Impact Series is a collection of comprehensive reports that will be developed through September 2011. The series aims to inform advocacy efforts to resolve implementation bottlenecks in a strategic effort to secure high levels of commitment for malaria control from donor countries, international health organizations, and governments of endemic and epidemic countries. Malaria Funding and Resource Utilization details funding allocation and use in sub-Saharan Africa, a region that contains 90 percent of the global malaria burden. The Malaria Control and Evaluation Partnership in Africa (MACEPA) at PATH co-authored the report with the World Health Organization and UNICEF.

The report found that reliable and sustained funding was essential in saving the lives of 384,000 children in 12 African countries in which data was available between 2000 and 2009. While significant gains have been made, the report details that current funding is approximately 25 percent of what is needed in order to attain RBM 2010 targets and make progress toward the five malaria-related Millennium Development Goals—making clear that the fight against malaria is winnable but still ongoing.

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Posted March 18, 2010.