Dominican Republic and Belize to Benefit From Initiative to End Malaria

DAVOS, Switzerland, Wednesday January 24, 2018 – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carlos Slim Foundation today announced an initiative to support eight countries, including the Dominican Republic and Belize, in taking the final steps necessary to eliminate malaria.

The Regional Malaria Elimination Initiative (RMEI) will bring US$83.6 million in new funds, and is expected to leverage over US$100 million in domestic financing and US$39 million of existing donor resources across the region by 2022, to ensure malaria remains a top health and development priority despite dwindling numbers of cases.

The funding will serve to close the technical and financing gaps to support and execute country elimination plans in Belize, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.

“The IDB believes that eliminating malaria can only be achieved through sustained financing for locally-tailored approaches, and that’s why we’re announcing this initiative,” said IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno. “By combining IDB resources with local and international contributions to tackle a regional problem, this initiative also exemplifies the blended finance model that will increasingly offer the best means of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Under the initiative, the IDB will make available up to US$37.1 million to countries to participate in the effort. In addition, the Gates Foundation will provide US$31.5 million in a result based payment system. This financing mechanism allows the IDB to give countries access to concessional funding they may not otherwise be able to obtain for malaria programs.

The Carlos Slim Foundation will add US$15 million to the initiative, which in addition to supporting the core objectives will allow RMEI to explore opportunities to expand into other geographies such as Mexico and Colombia.

RMEI will complement the progress towards malaria elimination accomplished so far by the countries with support from Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and other partners. This initiative will also complement the malaria elimination efforts already underway in Haiti by the government and the Malaria Zero Alliance.

The concept of the RMEI was developed with the support of the End Malaria Council (EMC), a group of global public sector and business leaders dedicated to accelerating the end of malaria. The RMEI will build on the work done under the Salud Mesoamérica Initiative, a results-based financing partnership backed by the IDB, the Gates Foundation, the Carlos Slim Foundation and the Government of Spain to close the health coverage and quality gap in Mesoamerica.

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