With a $4 million grant, the IDB will contribute with actions that focus on areas with the highest risk of transmission, which are home to nearly 5 million people across 149 municipalities in Guatemala.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a $4 million grant to help Guatemala eliminate malaria by 2025 and sustainably prevent its reintroduction. The funding is from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The program will focus on helping implement a malaria diagnosis, treatment, research and response strategy that includes active epidemiological surveillance; stronger integrated vector management; and work to enhance the financial, administrative, and technical sustainability of the Ministry of Health’s efforts to eliminate malaria.
Guatemala has seen a significant drop in malaria, from over 7,000 cases in 2010 to 12,309 in 2021. However, it still has 48 active transmission hotspots.
In the Mesoamerican region, malaria cases have fallen by 90% over the last two decades, one of the sharpest drops in the world. El Salvador was certified as malaria free in 2021, and Belize expects to achieve the same certification by the end of this year.
To combat the disease, Guatemala has received support from the Regional Initiative to Eliminate Malaria, which has been run by the IDB since 2018 and has awarded $5.6 million in grants to leverage $10.5 million in country contributions. These joint efforts align with the priorities of the IDB’s Vision 2025 “Reinvest in the Americas,” a plan to promote recovery, economic growth and social progress in the region.
The Global Fund decided to award Guatemala this “transition” grant from 2022 to 2024 to bolster the political, technical, administrative and financial sustainability of the country’s efforts to eliminate malaria.
The IDB administers the Regional Initiative to Eliminate Malaria, so to align and harmonize the cooperation, the Global Fund and Country Coordination Mechanism asked the bank to administer the technical and financial aspects of this $4.7 million grant, which includes a $716,000 contribution from Guatemala.
Malaria remains one of the world’s greatest health threats, even though it can be prevented and effectively treated. In 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) tallied 241 million cases of malaria in 87 countries where the disease is endemic, leading to 627,000 deaths.
Malaria is caused by a parasite that uses humans as its reservoir. The mosquito is the vector that transmits the disease from one person to another, but mosquitoes can only become infected by biting someone who is already infected. Time is therefore of the essence when diagnosing and treating malaria to keep the disease from spreading to other people.
About the Regional Initiative to Eliminate Malaria
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) administers the Regional Initiative to Eliminate Malaria, IREM. This initiative is funded by the Bill and Melissa Gates foundation, the Global Fund, the Carlos Slim Foundation, the IDB and 10 countries in the region. Work is coordinated with the PAHO, the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic, the Mesoamerica Integration and Development Project, and the Clinton Health Access Initiative.
The IREM uses a results-based funding model and focuses on diagnosis, treatment, research and response, and on improving epidemiological surveillance systems to detect new cases and treat them quickly. These actions follow PAHO and WHO recommendations set out in the Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016–2030.
About the IDB
The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social, and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance, and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region. Access our virtual tour.