Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on World Malaria Day

United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
For Immediate Release
April 23, 2021

Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on World Malaria Day

On World Malaria Day 2021, the United States joins the global community in celebrating continued progress in the fight against malaria. Over the past two decades, the United States has provided more than $140 billion in global health assistance and is the world’s leading donor to programs that work to eradicate malaria, including through the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and through multilateral efforts like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

Our contributions and continued leadership ensured that even during a crisis as unprecedented as the COVID-19 pandemic, progress toward a malaria-free world continued. In 2020, the systems and staff put in place to protect the world from malaria continued to save lives and prevent infections, not just of malaria, but of COVID-19 and other deadly infectious diseases. I applaud the dedication of healthcare workers around the globe who protected the significant, yet fragile, progress we have made, and I am inspired by their resilience and creativity in the dual fight against malaria and COVID-19. Given the pressures of the pandemic are still upon us, and the funding gap to end malaria is widening, we must redouble our efforts in 2021 to ensure our hard-won gains are sustained.

Malaria is one of the world’s oldest and deadliest diseases. A century ago, malaria was endemic in nearly every country in the world, including the United States. Today, the battleground is smaller, with more than 90 percent of malaria cases and deaths occurring in Africa. Throughout my diplomatic career, I have championed anti-malaria campaigns that provide mosquito-killing nets and sprays, life-saving malaria tests and medicines, and trained health workers in clinics and communities. I’m proud to say that in the last two decades, thanks to the work of PMI and others, the number of people who die from malaria has been nearly cut in half. Still, malaria kills more than 400,000 people each year.

We must keep working to reduce that number and to end malaria in all parts of the world. History shows we can do that – if we work together. The United States is committed to drawing the line against malaria, and we call on every nation to do its part to end malaria within a generation.