Jun 19, 2012
On the evening of June 12, Legatum co-hosted a reception at the Plaza Hotel in New York City to officially launch the END Fund. A crowd of philanthropists, entrepreneurs, bankers and academics joined Ellen Agler, Chief Executive Officer of the END Fund, to inaugurate the world’s first private philanthropic initiative to combat the seven most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in Africa. The cocktail reception, coupled with remarks from Ellen Agler, Alan McCormick, and END Fund Chairman Bill Campbell also included speeches from Miichael Kremer, Gates Professor of Developing Societies at Harvard University’s Department of Economics and Tom Kanyok, from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. A Gates Foundation contribution of USD $2 million comes only weeks after Dubai Cares, a UAE-based philanthropic organization founded by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, committed $1million to the END Fund to combat NTD infections in Angola.
The END Fund is seeded with grants from some of the world’s most innovative philanthropists including the Campbell Family Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dubai Cares, Geneva Global and the Legatum Foundation, the original anchor investor in the fund. The END Fund and its partners have disbursed over 40 million treatments to 9.7 million people over a four year period, providing it with unique and unrivaled experience in conducting nation-wide NTD programs.
NTDs are a group of parasitic and bacterial infections that are the most common afflictions of the world’s poorest people. They blind, disable and disfigure their victims, trapping them in a desperate cycle of poverty and disease. Research shows that NTD treatment is one of the highest impact development approaches: it lifts millions out of poverty by keeping children in school so they can learn and prosper; it strengthens worker productivity; and improves maternal and child health.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation contribution brings the END Fund to a total of $16 million in pledges and will help the END Fund move closer towards its goal of mobilizing the private philanthropic resources necessary to ensure treatment to over 50 million people by 2020.