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Carter Center Featured Partner: Children's Investment Fund Foundation

The Carter Center Health and Peace Programs appreciate the continued support of our foundation, government, and corporate donors and are pleased to highlight their contributions in these regular Web features.

Featured April 2012

The Carter Center is pleased to announce an exciting new partnership with the Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF). CIFF has generously pledged up to $6.7 million to the global effort to eradicate Guinea worm disease. There are no vaccines or medications to prevent this debilitating disease, but simple and cost-effective interventions have proven successful in stopping its transmission. CIFF's important contribution will help fund the final push to interrupt transmission in the four countries that continue to report cases, as well as the World Health Organization's certification of the world as free from Guinea worm disease.

CIFF aims to demonstrably improve the lives of children in developing countries by achieving large-scale, sustainable impact. Since it was founded in 2002, the London-based Foundation has been a leader in child poverty alleviation in India and Africa. CIFF focuses its efforts on seven priority areas: child survival, hunger alleviation and nutrition, adolescent reproductive health, early childhood development, educational achievement, economic readiness, and care environment. Within these areas, the Foundation seeks to effect profound improvements in well-being indicators, support programs that benefit large numbers of children, and invest their resources where successes extend beyond the direct impact of the funded programs. For example, CIFF works with a variety of partners on programs that aim to reduce vertical HIV transmission and provide comprehensive services to children with HIV in Africa; improve literacy and math skills for students in India; and provide more than one billion people with micronutrients to reduce maternal and child mortality and morbidity.

CIFF is part of a coalition of donors, including the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the United Arab Emirates, that have stepped forward to fully fund the eradication of Guinea worm disease. Since the founding of the Guinea Worm Eradication Program in 1986, the number of global cases has been reduced by 99.9 percent: from more than 3.5 million to just 1,058 cases in 2011, with 97 percent of the remaining cases occurring in South Sudan. The remaining cases of Guinea worm disease are found primarily in poverty-stricken areas with little or no infrastructure, in – or near – conflict zones, or among nomadic populations. CIFF's partnership will help fight the last remnants of this ancient disease, making it only the second human disease in history, after smallpox, to be completely eradicated.

"The last cases of a disease in an eradication or elimination effort are always the most difficult and expensive to address," said former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. "With approximately 1,000 Guinea worm cases remaining worldwide and strong support of the endemic communities and our partners like the Children's Investment Fund Foundation, The Carter Center-led campaign is close to eradication. Together, we can ensure that every village remains forever free from this horrific disease."

The Carter Center is grateful for CIFF's new partnership, which will support interventions against transmission, including the provision of household water filters, personal pipe filters, health education, and the safe treatment of water sources. CIFF's generous donation will have a positive impact on those in afflicted communities, allowing children to return to their schools, farmers to return to their fields, and people to lead healthy, productive lives without the scourge of Guinea worm disease.

Featured donor and supported programs:

Children's Investment Fund Foundation

United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID)

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

United Arab Emirates

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