We cannot expect the United States and the United Kingdom to shoulder the entire financial burden of global NTD control. The world’s emerging market economies and the nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council must now step up and share this commitment.
n response to the growing awareness of the importance of NTDs as a global health and security threat, the US government, through its Agency for International Development (USAID), and to some extent the British Department for International Development (DFID), have begun to provide up to US$100 million annually for NTD control, with plans to possibly double this amount by 2011. Additional funds for global parasite control have been provided to the government of Japan through its Hashimoto Initiative . While these dollar amounts pale in comparison to the funds allocated for HIV/AIDS through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the truth is that these dollars will go a long way. For as little as US$0.50 annually, it is possible to provide mass drug administration to support the seven most common NTDs and those producing the highest disease burden. Therefore, even the modest funds allocated to date may be sufficient to treat 200–400 million people annually, or roughly one-quarter of the bottom billion who urgently need treatments. In addition, ongoing support will be needed for sanitation, clean, water, and the overall strengthening of health systems.