Multisectoral action framework for malaria launched alongside 68th United Nations General Assembly

24 Sep 2013

World leaders gathered today alongside the 68th United Nations General Assembly to launch an inclusive approach to fighting malaria, a disease which  – despite tremendous advances – still  kills an estimated 660,000 each year and poses a major challenge to development.

The Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Multisectoral Action Framework for Malaria, calls for greater coordinated action among different development sectors to tackle the disease, which exacts its deadliest toll in sub-Saharan Africa.  

The Framework identifies actions on the social and environmental determinants of malaria, and urges that current malaria strategies are complemented by a broader development approach, encouraging policymakers and practitioners to increase partnerships between sectors to accelerate both socio-economic development and malaria control.

It follows an RBM-UNDP joint consultation among more than 70 experts from a variety of sectors and provides an operational roadmap for identifying key steps, expected outcomes, and capacities needed to integrate malaria control into broader development processes.

“Malaria is a disease associated with lack of socio-economic development, poverty, marginalization and exploitation “Each of these dimensions has roots beyond the health sector – so a multi-sectoral response is essential if we are to free the world from the burden of malaria,” said Rebeca Grynspan, UNDP Associate Administrator.

The Framework sets out a roadmap toward a more integrated approach to fighting malaria to meet the MDGs and contribute to the next set of development goals after 2015.

"We are at a critical moment in Africa, where we can either capitalize on the successes of the past years or slide backwards,” H.E. President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania stated to guests, including Heads of State, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Health, UN officials and health and development experts. “To capitalize on our success we need all actors in human development and environmental management to join forces. Multisectoral action on malaria is essential, and I welcome the launch of this important Framework.”

With stronger global health partnerships and coordination, recent years have seen unprecedented progress in defeating malaria. Increased funding and greater roll-out of life-saving interventions have resulted in a 25% decrease in global malaria deaths, and 43 countries around the world have seen malaria cases decrease by more than 50%. But factors that increase vulnerability to malaria infection often lie outside the health sector, including housing, education, urban planning, agriculture, transportation, and mining that needs attention for a robust response.

“With half the world’s population still at risk of malaria, and uncertain funding in the future we must expand our approach and maximize the impact of our investments,” said Dr. Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, Executive Director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership. “The Multisectoral Action Framework for Malaria will guide the global response to malaria in coming years as we develop the next phase of the Global Malaria Action Plan as well as the post-2015 agenda.”

Targeted in MDG 6 and identified by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as a top priority under his second mandate, malaria impacts all aspects of development, costing Africa alone some US$12 billion in lost productivity each year.

“A multisectoral approach is critical to our development efforts, including malaria, as we work to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and develop a Post-2015 Development Framework,” said Professor Keizo Takemi, Member of the House of Councillors, The National Diet of Japan. “This is particularly true in the Asian context where we face the threat of Artemisinin resistant malaria. Various stakeholders from different sectors of Japan are engaged in combating malaria to attain the overall economic and social development of the region. In this light, I welcome the launch of this Multisectoral Action Framework for Malaria as an instrumental guidance for scaling up efforts against malaria and continue saving lives.”

To access the Multisectoral Action Framework for Malaria, please visit: http://www.rollbackmalaria.org/docs/2013/Multisectoral-Action-Framework-for-Malaria.pdf

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Contact Information

RBM: Trey Watkins; kwatkins@rbmny.org; +1 646 626 6054; +1 347 931 0667

UNDP: Atif Khurshid; atif.khurshid@undp.org; +1 212 906 6615; +1 646 717 0771