News Archive

posted 01/17/06

Sachs Visits Uganda With Osborne as Tories Pledge $1bn/year to Wipe Out Malaria

According to an article in today’s Guardian (UK), the Conservatives in the United Kingdom's government will unveil plans to spend $1bn a year on malaria treatment until the disease is eradicated worldwide. George Osborne, the UK’s shadow chancellor, will deliver the pledge at the end of his three-day visit to Uganda with Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the Earth Institute and leading development economist.

According to the Guardian, this contribution would amount to a third of what Sachs says is the necessary annual global budget to beat malaria.

Malaria kills about a million people a year worldwide, yet is easily treatable.

The World Health Organisation says that between 70,000 and 110,000 children in Uganda alone die of malaria every year, and about 16 million of the 25 million population have the disease.

Osborne told the Guardian: "We think it doesn't get the attention it deserves. Understandably there's a lot of global effort on HIV/Aids but malaria is kind of the poor cousin. Tackling malaria is one of the great central challenges. It's something where aid money can have a really direct impact, because you can actually pay for interventions, like bed nets, which make a direct practical difference on the ground.”

The Guardian called the visit of Osborne and Sachs “a minor political coup in policy territory where Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have received global acclaim for tripling the UK's aid budget and delivering debt write-offs for poorer countries.”

Sachs and Osborne visited Ruhiira, which is one of 12 Millennium Villages in 10 countries where experts are working with communities on issues such as health, agriculture, sanitation, water, technology and education.

According to the Guardian ariticle, Sachs proposed trials of wheat as a cash crop and promised an internet facility at the Omwicwamba primary school.

He said: "It's always stunning to see how fast progress is. That's why I always say yes, we can achieve the millennium development goals, there is time. But it requires this focused organisational effort and adequate basic financing to establish the core investments."

Read full article written by Will Woodward in Ruhiira, Uganda

About The Earth Institute
The Earth Institute at Columbia University is the world's leading academic center for the integrated study of Earth, its environment and society. The Earth Institute builds upon excellence in the core disciplines — earth sciences, biological sciences, engineering sciences, social sciences and health sciences — and stresses cross-disciplinary approaches to complex problems. Through research, training and global partnerships, it mobilizes science and technology to advance sustainable development, while placing special emphasis on the needs of the world's poor. For more information, visit www.earth.columbia.edu.