| GEO World|
| Nearly 3 billion dollars pledged for malaria control|
| Updated at: 0956 PST, Friday, September 26, 2008|
UNITED NATIONS: An anti-poverty summit on Thursday pledged nearly three billion dollars to fund an ambitious malaria control plan to save more than 4.2 million lives around the world.
The funding, which includes 1.1 billion dollars from the World Bank, will be used to support rapid implementation of the first ever Global Malaria Action Plan (GMAP).
It was announced at a summit called by UN chief Ban Ki-moon to re-energize the race to achieve eight poverty reduction goals by a 2015 deadline.
World Bank President Robert Zoellick said in a statement that the extra money would help "sharply reduce the numbers of malaria-related deaths and illness" in the next three years.
According to GMAP's projections, more than 4.2 million lives can be saved between 2008 and 2015, if its plan is put into action, and the foundation can be laid for a longer-term effort to eradicate the disease.
Malaria affects half of the world's population 3.3 billion people in 109 countries and causes nearly one million deaths per year, according to UN officials.
The Global Fund to Fights AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria an international partnership of government, private sector and non-governmental organizations meanwhile said it was committing 1.62 billion dollars over two years in new grants for malaria control, including plans for distributing 100 million additional bed nets.