Alwaleed Philanthropies joins the END Fund to accelerate the end of neglected tropical diseases

Jan 20, 2017

DAVOS (January 20, 2017) – Alwaleed Philanthropies and the END Fund today announce their new collaboration to help end the neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) that affect over 1.6 billion people. 

Over the next three years (2017 – 2019), Alwaleed Philanthropies will provide US$3 million to support the END Fund’s activities to control and eliminate neglected tropical diseases globally, with an emphasis in Africa and the Middle East."

The announcement comes as part of a high-level convening hosted by the END Fund in Davos to showcase how the private sector is uniquely contributing to improving economic productivity and overall health in developing countries through investing in NTD control and elimination programs. Bill Gates, Co-Founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Tsitsi Masiyiwa ,Co-Founder of Higherlife Foundation, William I. Campbell, END Fund Chair, and other leaders from pharma, academia, and philanthropy join this convening which will ensure the NTD cause is represented at the highest level in a sanctioned side event at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting.  

HRH Princess Lamia bint Majed AlSaud, Alwaleed Philanthropies Secretary General of Alwaleed Philanthropies said: “As philanthropists, it is critical that we make sure every dollar we invest in tackling disease, poverty and injustice delivers the greatest possible social return. At Alwaleed Philanthropies, we choose to support projects and partners that do the most good possible. This is why we are proud to partner with the END Fund in the fight to tackle the scourge of neglected tropical diseases, which affects over 1.6 billion people around the world.”

Trevor Mundel, President of Global Health for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation commented, “Supporting the control and elimination of NTDs has long been a clear choice for our foundation. NTDs have an outsized economic impact, disabling tens of millions in poor communities around the world and fuelling cycles of poverty. Combined with the drug donations from the private sector, investing in NTD programs is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve global health. We’re proud to support the END Fund and glad to see new players join in.”

Working in partnership with private actors, since its founding in 2012, the END Fund has raised over US$70 million USD and supported the treatment of over 100 million people at risk of NTDs and training of hundreds of thousands of health workers, teachers, and volunteers in NTD prevention, control and treatment strategies.
 
Ellen Agler, END Fund CEO and one of the hosts of today’s event, comments: “Targeting the end of the five most common neglected tropical diseases really is a ‘best buy’ in global health. The math makes sense for our strategic philanthropists whose business acumen means they automatically look for great returns on their investments. The END Fund appeals to both head and heart: The short-term transformation in individuals’ well-being after treatment is startling, but so too is the long-term impact on national economic development and poverty alleviation for millions.”

In addition to the Alwaleed Philanthropies new commitment, in the coming days Peter Laugharn, CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, announced $12 million USD in new funding to partners working to end blinding trachoma by 2020.  “The Hilton Foundation is very proud to be a long-time investor in efforts to end this painful, blinding disease, having committed $64 million USD to the cause since 1997. It’s a particularly unique honour to make this announcement alongside new investors to this cause. To get across the finish line, we need more strategic partners to join us in this rewarding work.”

NTD efforts are also being backed by the largest-ever drug donation program, valued at US$4 billion annually with 5.5 billion tablets of NTD medicines donated by pharmaceutical companies. The business case is compelling: for every dollar invested in NTD control, at least $50 is returned in increased economic productivity over time. The efficacy and impact of NTD programs have been further improved in recent years. This has mostly been achieved through advances in big data and technological innovations, such as disease mapping systems and tools for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. 

For more information about The END Fund, or to find out about getting involved in ending NTDs visit: http://www.end.org/

Ends

For press enquires, contact: Libby Wyman Libby@gongcommunications.com or call 0044 (0) 20 7935 4800 or 0044 (0) 7766256538 

Note to editors:

Eliminating NTDs could save more than $52 billion by 2030  in sub-Saharan Africa alone. Ending the five most common NTDs  will add 100 million productive life-years that would otherwise be lost to ill health, disability and early death . The World Health Organization (WHO)’s goal to control or eliminate the most common NTDs by 2020 is achievable through simple solutions, innovative tools and cross-sector collaboration including the private sector, global and local NGOs and multilateral organizations, ministries of health and philanthropists. 

What are Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)?

NTDs are a group of parasitic and bacterial infectious diseases that thrive in conditions of rural poverty, where children and adults don’t have access to clean water and basic sanitation. For this reason, 40% of the global burden exists in sub-Saharan Africa, where the impact of NTDs is greater than that of malaria or tuberculosis.

The END Fund works with the Big Five – Intestinal Worms, Schistosomiasis, Lymphatic Filariasis, Trachoma, River Blindness. These five most common NTDs make up 90% of the burden in sub-Saharan Africa.

About the END Fund:

The END Fund, founded in 2012, is a private philanthropic initiative to end the five most common NTDs. It advocates for innovative, integrated and cost-effective NTD programs; facilitates strong partnerships with the private sector; and supports 20 national control programs on the African continent. To date, the END Fund has raised over $50 million to treat people at risk of NTDs. In sub-Saharan Africa, the organization has supported partners to distribute over $300 million worth of treatment to nearly 59 million people at risk of NTDs and train more than 247,000 health workers and officials in NTD prevention, control and treatment strategies. The END Fund is poised to scale this work with additional investment.

About Alwaleed Philanthropies

For over 37 years, Alwaleed Philanthropies has supported and initiated projects in over 124 countries regardless of gender, race, or religion. We collaborate with a range of philanthropic, government, and educational organizations to combat poverty, empower women and youth, develop communities, provide disaster relief and create cultural understanding through education. Together, we build bridges for a more compassionate, tolerant, and accepting world.

About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world’s disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance use, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton’s support for the work of Catholic Sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. In 2016, the Humanitarian Prize was awarded to The Task Force for Global Health, an international, nonprofit organization that works to improve health of people most in need, primarily in developing countries. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.5 billion in grants, distributing $109 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2016. The Foundation’s current assets are approximately $2.5 billion. For more information, please visit www.hiltonfoundation.org.

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