Last November, I linked to a piece by Phillip Coticelli and Richard Tren in which they described how a combination of environmentalists, United Nations agencies, and big business interests has undermined the fight against malaria in Africa by standing in the way of the use of DDT there. Today in NRO, Coticelli (along with Justin Schwab) focuses on the culpability of the World Bank when it comes to combatting this preventable disease. According to Coticelli and Schwab, who work with the group Africa Fighting Malaria, the World Bank needs to focus more on anti-malarial drugs and insecticides and less on technical advice and conferences. They also argue that to the extent that the World Bank does focus on treatment and prevention, it tends to promote ineffective ones. Finally, Coticelli and Schwab accuse the World Bank of “publishing inaccurate data to save face rather than face up to its failure to control malaria.”
The authors argue that the World Bank’s money would be better used by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. While the Bank has disbursed $150 million over the past five years, the Global Fund disbursed $151 million in under 7 months. The Fund is also committed to using all available means to control malaria, including DDT for targeted use in South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, and Zambia.