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Sheikh Mohamed launches disease eradication fund
November 16, 2017
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ABU DHABI: His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, launched the Reaching the Last Mile Fund to raise US$100 million with the aim of eradicating, eliminating, and controlling preventable diseases that hinder the health and economic prospects of the world’s poorest people.

The Fund was launched during Sheikh Mohamed’s attendance of the global health forum, ‘Reaching the Last Mile: Together to Eliminate Infectious Diseases,’ held in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday evening.

Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed committed $20 million to the Fund, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will contribute up to $20 million. The Fund will be managed by the END Fund, a philanthropic investment platform focused on tackling the five most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).

The aim of this 10-year Fund is to support the elimination of two debilitating and preventable neglected diseases: river blindness (onchocerciasis) and lymphatic filariasis (which can lead to elephantiasis).

Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said. “The UAE, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, continues to provide regional and international support for humanitarian, developmental and health initiatives that target countries and communities in need. The launch of this Fund is part of international efforts to rid the world of two debilitating and preventable diseases.”

Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed added that neglected diseases continue to hinder the lives of millions across the Middle East and Africa. Eliminating them will have a positive multifaceted impact by lifting millions more across the region out of poverty, but to achieve these goals, there is an urgent need for long-term vision and global partnerships.

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