Ban urges funds for health-related development goals
New York, Mar 2 : United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has tasked Ray Chambers, who has served as his Special Envoy for Malaria since 2008, with promoting and securing greater investment to achieve the health-related targets within the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Agreed to by world leaders at a UN summit in 2000, the MDGs set specific targets on poverty alleviation, education, gender equality, child and maternal health, environmental stability, HIV/AIDS reduction, and a 'Global Partnership for Development.'
In his expanded role, Mr Chambers will help increase funding from the public and private sectors to achieve the goals to reduce child and maternal mortality, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis and other diseases by 2015, the internationally agreed deadline for reaching the MDGs.
"Since 2008, Ray Chambers has always been by our side in our battle against malaria as Special Envoy for Malaria," said Margaret Chan, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), as she welcomed Friday's announcement.
"Now he will also direct his talents and business experience towards building political will and financial support for the health-related MDGs. At this crucial time, with 2015 fast approaching, Ray Chambers is well placed to help mobilize the resources we urgently need to accelerate progress," she stated.
During the five years that Chambers has served as the malaria envoy, visibility, awareness, and funding for malaria have increased exponentially, with over USD4 billion raised, over 400 million mosquito nets distributed and millions of treatment courses administered, according to the announcement of his new appointment.
Yet, malaria - a preventable, mosquito-borne disease - continues to kill an African child every 45 seconds. With a further push, deaths can be brought down to near-zero by the end of 2015. One of the key challenges is insufficient funding to meet health goals in many countries.
Chambers, whose new title is Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Malaria and for the Financing of the Health-related Millennium Development Goals, is a philanthropist and humanitarian. He is the Founding Chairman of the Points of Light Foundation and Co-Founder, with Colin Powell, of America's Promise - The Alliance for Youth.