Ellen Agler, Chief Executive Officer of The END Fund, the world’s first private philanthropic initiative to combat the seven most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in Africa, announced today the official launch of The END Fund, as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's commitment of US$ 2 million to The END Fund. The Gates Foundation contribution comes only weeks after Dubai Cares, a UAE-based philanthropic organisation founded by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, committed US$ 1 million to The END Fund to combat NTD infections in Angola.
The END Fund is seeded with grants from some of the world’s most innovative philanthropists including the Campbell Family Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dubai Cares, Geneva Global and the Legatum Foundation, the original anchor investor in the fund. The END Fund and its partners have disbursed over 40 million treatments to 9.7 million people over a four year period, providing it with unique and unrivaled experience in conducting nationwide NTD programmes. Fundamental to the success of an eradication programme is its integration into a nation’s National Health Plan which enables a long-term focus and disease reduction plan.
"No health intervention is more effective than tackling NTDs," said END Fund Chairman William Campbell. "NTD treatment is the single most cost-effective means of improving children's attendance in school, since children who have been dewormed are more likely to stay in school with an increased capacity to learn and concentrate. My family and I are delighted to support The END Fund because it offers an exceptional social investment opportunity for those interested in transforming millions of lives in the short term, while creating a legacy that will positively impact sub-Saharan Africa for years to come." Mr. Campbell is also a Senior Advisor at JPMorgan Chase & Co, and the President of Sanoch Management.
NTDs are a group of parasitic and bacterial infections that are the most common afflictions of the world's poorest people. They blind, disable and disfigure their victims, trapping them in a desperate cycle of poverty and disease. Research shows that NTD treatment is one of the highest impact development approaches: it lifts millions out of poverty by keeping children in school so they can learn and prosper; it strengthens worker productivity; and improves maternal and child health.
The END Fund’s newly-appointed CEO, Ellen Agler, said: "We thank the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its generosity in providing funding to catalyse additional private investment in NTD control." She added "This pioneering investment to The END Fund, along with Dubai Cares’ grant of US$ 1 million, adds further momentum behind our goal of eradicating Africa's seven most prevalent NTDs by 2020."
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's contribution brings The END Fund to a total of US$ 16 million in pledges and will help The END Fund move closer towards its goal of mobilising the private philanthropic resources necessary to ensure treatment to over 50 million people by 2020.
THE END FUND CHAIRMAN, BILL CAMPBELL
For more information about The END Fund, or to become a pioneer in transforming millions of lives in Africa, please go to www.end.org.