I have pledged my support for the Malaria No More campaign #MalariaMustDie.
Though preventable, treatable and in decline, malaria still kills one child every two minutes. Since 2000, the international community has cut malaria deaths by a phenomenal 60% saving almost 7 million lives. UK investment and innovation has been at the forefront of this global progress. However, these advances are in jeopardy.
This week marks a diverse group of global partners – including Malaria No More UK, GSK, Nando’s, Comic Relief and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – joining forces to call on Governments to put the world on the path towards ending malaria for good.
In 70 days Commonwealth leaders will gather in London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. 90% of Commonwealth citizens live in malaria-endemic countries. Whilst it composes up to a third of the world’s population, it comprises two-thirds of the global population at risk of malaria.
Our international development spending has done a huge amount to help people living in malaria-endemic areas. Labour was able to put in place a settlement where 0.7% of our GDP was spent on aid. This was accepted by following governments as the right thing to do. But as pressures continue on public spending there are worrying signs that the UK Government is getting cold feet on supporting people from this deadly disease.
I will be working with my colleagues in Parliament to ensure that the UK leads the world in tackling malaria. The forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is a perfect opportunity for MPs to work with charities to put pressure on governments from around the world to finally bring an end to malaria.