The UK government is to create a new £1 billion fund, called The Ross Fund, in partnership with US philanthropists, Bill and Melinda Gates. The fun, named after Sir Ronald Ross, who first found the link between mosquitoes and malaria in 1902, aims to eradicate malaria and other infectious disease. The fund will come from the UK’s overseas aid budget over the next five years, with £115m earmarked for research into new drugs, diagnostics and insecticides for malaria, TB and other infectious diseases, and £188m to be spent on improving biodefences and rapid response systems to fast-spreading epidemics such as Ebola. UK Chancellor Osborne:
[The government’s commitment to overseas aid helps to] promote our national security and interests around the world. [Working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will help us in] our joint ambition to see an end to this global disease in our lifetimes.
With the combined skill and expertise of British scientists; leveraging the weight of both public and private financing; and the continued leadership of George Osborne and the UK, [the] announcement of the Ross Fund will play a key role in reaching that goal [ eradicating malaria and other poverty-related infectious diseases].