LONDON, April 23 /PRNewswire/ --

Just days ahead of World Malaria Day 2009 Comic Relief has awarded GBP6.3m in funding to Malaria Consortium and the Global Fund to help protect over 1m people in Africa from malaria.

Comic Relief selected Malaria Consortium and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as recipients of these awards to ensure that long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets (LLINs) and life-saving drugs reach malaria-affected communities quickly. The charity has awarded GBP4.3m to Malaria Consortium, the world's leading not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the control of malaria, because it has staff already on the ground in malaria-endemic countries with local insight and practical tools to respond to this critical challenge. A further GBP2m will be channelled through the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the main international financing agency for malaria programmes worldwide.

Malaria is the biggest killer of children under five in Africa yet it is easily preventable with LLINs and treatable with cost-effective drugs. In today's economic climate it is more important than ever to invest in smarter solutions in malaria control, to invest in programmes that are proven to work and that offer value for money.

The GBP6.3m for these grants was raised this Red Nose Day, with initiatives including nine celebrities successfully climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to help raise funds and awareness of malaria. These grants will be used to purchase and distribute more than one million LLINs, educate people to spot the symptoms of malaria early and to support health services enabling people living in malaria-affected communities to be diagnosed and treated quickly and effectively.

Kevin Cahill, CEO of Comic Relief, said: Thanks to the immense support of the British public this Red Nose Day, Comic Relief now has the money to buy the nets to help protect more than 1 million people in Africa from malaria - where a child is killed by the disease every 30 seconds. It's vital that we ensure these funds are spent smartly and help those who need it quickly and effectively. To make sure this happens we are delighted to be working with Malaria Consortium and the Global Fund who bring with them real expertise and experience. They will use the money they receive from us to make a big impact in some of the world's poorest and most vulnerable communities.

Sunil Mehra, Executive Director of Malaria Consortium said: Malaria Consortium has a responsibility and a commitment both to people living in malaria-affected regions, and to the British public that so generously donated to Comic Relief, to use this grant to get life-saving nets and treatments to people that desperately need them. People in malaria endemic communities will quickly see the benefits of this landmark grant.

Dr Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund said: Now is a key moment for the Global Fund and the global effort to defeat malaria. This new and exciting partnership with Comic Relief brings together organisations committed to tackling this devastating yet preventable and treatable disease. Comic Relief is making an important statement at this critical moment, reflecting the need to continue the flow of funds to turn the tide decisively against malaria.

Notes to Editors

World Malaria Day 2009

On World Malaria Day 2009, the 'Counting Malaria Out' campaign is calling on the global community to work together to ensure that every man, woman and child in affected regions has access to essential prevention and treatment services by 2010. For more information please visit

About Malaria Consortium

Malaria Consortium is the world's leading not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the control of malaria and applies its depth of technical expertise and practical experience to develop smarter solutions that improve and save lives. Through innovation, Malaria Consortium increases the impact of malaria and disease control programmes so that they benefit all communities, including delivery in the most challenging environments. Malaria Consortium has pioneered best practices and approaches, setting the standards that others now follow. Malaria Consortium is headquartered in London, United Kingdom, with over 90% of its staff based in malaria-endemic countries supporting Ministries of Health and partners in over twenty countries. For more information, please visit

'Mauvais Air' Photo Exhibition

To celebrate World Malaria Day Malaria Consortium is launching an exclusive UK exhibition of William Daniels' photograph collection, Mauvais Air. The photographs depict the human impact of malaria across Africa and Asia and vividly illustrate the critical role that civil society organisations are playing in 'Counting Malaria Out' to achieve the ambitious goal of near-zero deaths from malaria by 2015. The exhibition will open daily at the gallery@oxo on London's South Bank between April 22nd and May 10th.

About The Global Fund

The Global Fund is a unique global public/private partnership dedicated to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. This partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities represents a new approach to international health financing. The Global Fund contributes two thirds of all international financing for malaria. It is currently supporting 175 programs fighting malaria in 83 countries with grants totaling US$4.6 billion. Among many other activities, these Global Fund-supported programs have so far distributed insecticide-treated bed nets to protect 70 million families from malaria and have treated 74 million cases of malaria with ACT or other effective drugs.

About Comic Relief

- Comic Relief's vision is to create a just world, free from poverty - To make a donation, call 03457 910910 (Calls to our 0345 number will cost the same as calls to 01 and 02 prefixed numbers and will be included as part of any inclusive minutes or discount package) - Comic Relief spends the money raised to give extremely vulnerable, poor and disadvantaged people in the UK and Africa a helping hand to turn their lives around. - Comic Relief, registered charity 326568 (England / Wales); SC039730 (Scotland)

The Comic Relief promise

In order to run itself in a professional and effective way Comic Relief incurs necessary significant costs. Raising funds, making grants and organisational overheads cost real money. Despite these costs, Comic Relief is still able to promise that for every pound the charity gets directly from the public a pound goes to helping transform the lives of people living with poverty and social injustice. If Red Nose Day raises 65 million, Comic Relief will spend at least 65 million doing just that. It can make this promise because its operating budget is covered in cash or in kind from all types of supporters like corporate sponsors and donors, suppliers, generous individuals and government (including Gift Aid) as well as from investment income and interest.

LONDON, April 23 /PRNewswire/ --

Media Contacts For more information about available spokespeople and photographs please contact: Beth Williams, +44(0)207-462-8918,