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The European Community grants UNICEF €4.8 million to boost anti-malaria efforts in four African countries

The grant will be used to procure and distribute long lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets to pregnant women and under-five children in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Niger and The Democratic Republic of Congo

BRUSSELS, 3 December 2007 - At a signing ceremony of the contribution agreement in Brussels, the European Commission’s Head of Unit Raul Mateus Paula highlighted the innovative nature of the project, namely its essential component on training of health workers, and information and communication to local communities, in order to increase knowledge and awareness on malaria transmission and to advocate healthier behaviours such as the proper use of mosquito nets. 

UNICEF's Director of Programmes Alan Court warmly welcomed the grant, calling it an example of the power of partnerships to bring results and save children's lives. "Through this grant, thousands of insecticide-treated nets will reach children and families in these four malaria endemic countries where far too many children die because they lack such protection. Making this progress against malaria heralds another breakthrough for child survival and human development."

The contribution is, therefore, a major boost to the four countries’ efforts to reduce malaria’s terrible toll on young children and pregnant women. The funds will enable the countries to expand national coverage and use of insecticide treated nets among pregnant women and children, train health workers on how to teach communities and caregivers to detect, treat and prevent malaria, document and share their knowledge and experiences with other countries, forecast national needs for long lasting nets, and monitor and measure impact.

The four countries were chosen because malaria is the leading cause of child deaths, the countries are ranked lowly on the Human Development Index, millions of children and pregnant women are as yet unreached with insecticide treated nets, and routine immunisation and antenatal attendance rates are among the lowest.

Each of the countries will receive between € 1.1 and 1.3 million over two years.  Activities funded under this grant are expected to start in 2008.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For further information, please contact:

José António Valente, Head of Section – Social Sector, Phone: +32 2 2967982
email: jose-antonio.valente@ec.europa.eu

Melanie Renshaw, Senior Health Advisor (malaria), Health Section, Programme Division UNICEF: Tel  + 212 303 7966
email: mrenshaw@unicef.org




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