The Nothing But Nets anti-malaria campaign has announced a new initiative to help eliminate malaria deaths. Responding to an urgent need, Nothing But Nets is working with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to send long-lasting, insecticide-treated bed nets to the more than 630,000 refugees living in 27 temporary camps in East Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
An initial $2 million donation from the United Nations Foundation to UNHCR will help launch the initiative. This will mobilize global engagement through Nothing But Nets' partner organizations - including the people of The United Methodist Church, the National Basketball Association and the Union for Reform Judaism, as well as supporters of UNHCR's Human Race and ninemillion.org campaigns - to promote awareness of malaria and to raise funds to purchase and distribute the bed nets needed to protect the refugees in UNHCR camps.
"This partnership extends a life-saving safety net to some of the world's most vulnerable refugees," said Timothy E. Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation. "Malaria is a preventable disease and our growing coalition of UN agencies, faith communities and major companies are determined to reach our goal of eliminating malaria deaths in this generation."
"Malaria is the single highest killer disease in East Africa," said Bishop Daniel Wandabula of the East Africa Episcopal Area. "The people living in the settlement camps in northern Uganda do not have access to basic health and sanitation facilities. The incidence of malaria among expectant mothers and children is exceedingly high despite the fact that the disease can be prevented by using mosquito nets."
Wandabula said The United Methodist Church in East Africa has attempted to provide some emergency relief to the displaced, but the need is overwhelming.
"Nothing But Nets makes it easy for people to get involved," said António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. "It's simple - send a net, save a life."
More than 275,000 bed nets are needed for the refugees living in temporary camps. One net costs $10 to purchase and distribute and can protect a family of four for 3-5 years.
To date, Nothing But Nets has raised more than $20 million and distributed nets all across Africa. The first Nothing But Nets-UNHCR bed net distribution will take place in Uganda in fall 2008.
To get involved or donate, visit www.NothingButNets.net.