WASHINGTON, D.C.: The people of The United Methodist Church today will make a historic donation to the Global Fund with a gift of $9.6 million, the single largest contribution made by a faith organization to the Geneva-based institution. Approximately 12.5 million United Methodists throughout the world contributed to the Imagine No Malaria initiative through donations and grassroots fundraising efforts, ranging from pancake breakfasts to 5K runs to lemonade stands.
"It is on behalf of and with much appreciation to the people of The United Methodist Church that we make this gift," said Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton, who leads the church's Imagine No Malaria campaign. "Today we celebrate, with our partner the Global Fund, the work we are doing to end preventable deaths from malaria on the continent of Africa. Our work is making a difference."
The contribution makes The United Methodist Church one of the most significant non-government contributors to the Global Fund. The money will be used to purchase and distribute insecticide-treated bed nets and other tools to control malaria in Angola, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
"The United Methodist Church's contribution to fighting the scourge of malaria is admirable and outstanding," said Dr. Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund. "This money will allow hundreds of thousands of African children to sleep under a bed net, significantly improving their chances of living malaria-free lives."
The check presentation will be held at an event on Capitol Hill among a group of lawmakers, United Methodists and members of a wide variety of secular and global organizations and is among a number of global events held to mark World Malaria Day on April 25. United Methodists have organized events for World Malaria Day to raise Imagine No Malaria funds with the theme of #BringChange .
In 2010, The Global Fund and the people of The United Methodist Church joined forces in the fight against malaria. At the core of this partnership is the Imagine No Malaria campaign, which puts faith into action by empowering the people of Africa to improve health infrastructure and achieve a sustainable victory over malaria. The partnership leverages the denomination's network of hospitals and clinics in Africa and the powerful commitment of United Methodists, along with the scope and resources of the Global Fund to achieve impact on a greater scale than would be possible alone.
The United Methodist Church has pledged up to $28 million to help those at-risk enjoy malaria-free lives, and has raised $18.1 million for the Global Fund to date. Imagine No Malaria is near its goal of raising $75 million for the battle against malaria.