2 Nov 2012

Australia tags $100m for malaria

10:20 pm on 2 November 2012

Australia has committed $A100 million over the next four years to reduce death and illness from malaria in the Asia-Pacific region.

The $A100 million will go towards providing treatments, mosquito nets and rapid diagnostic tests, the ABC reports.

A total of $A14.5 million will specifically target drug-resistant malaria in Vietnam's Mekong delta, while $A20 million has been earmarked for malaria programs in Australia's close neighbours like the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.

"We can eliminate malaria," Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr told the Malaria 2012 Conference in Sydney.

These accelerated global efforts to combat the disease could save 70,000 lives between now and December 2015.

The United Nations has praised Australia's efforts, and says it is a world leader in working with developing nations on the issue.

The UN secretary-general's special envoy for malaria, Ray Chambers, says the way Australia supports and works with its Asia-Pacific neighbours is exemplary.

"We have been so impressed by what we've seen over the last several days and for Australia's leadership, its persistent tenacity to get something conclusive done and its enormous generosity."