The recent approval of a resolution by the Episcopal Church's Executive Council helped form a unique partnership between Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD), Jubilee Ministries, and the council, named the MDG Inspiration Fund, which is set to raise $3 million by 2009 to fight malaria and other preventable diseases.
"ERD has established the MDG Inspiration Fund as a result of Executive Council's passing of the EC-006 Resolution," said Robert W. Radtke, ERD president.
Over the next two years, the council has designated $924,000 and ERD will identify additional contributions to reach a goal of $1 million for the Fund. The $1 million will be used to "inspire" individuals, congregations and dioceses to contribute $2 million with the aim of raising a total of $3 million by 2009.
Adopted by the world's leaders in 2000, the core objective of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is to halve the number of people living in extreme poverty by 2015. Further information can be found here.
Monies from the MDG Inspiration Fund will be used to fight malaria, which is an objective of MDG #6, along with HIV/AIDS and other preventable diseases. Malaria is an easily treatable disease and is a high priority for many of ERD's partners in the Anglican Communion. Although the program specifically targets MDG #6, several additional MDGs are relevant to malaria prevention.
"The most important thing about the Fund is that it will address many of the MDGs and reach out to our greater population who are voiceless and in need," said Hisako Miyazaki Beasley, a council member from the Diocese of Olympia in Province VIII.
The Episcopal Church's 75th General Convention, which met in June 2006, resolved to make the MDGs a mission priority over the next triennium and endorsed a partnership between the Episcopal Church and ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History. All of ERD's international programs address the MDGs.
"With the recent adoption of the MDGs during General Convention 2006, it's good to see that we are off and running with various programs throughout the church focusing on the MDGs," said Ted Yumoto, council member from the Diocese of San Joaquin in Province VIII. "It's good to our constituencies and to the Anglican Communion."
Noting the Towards Effective Anglican Mission (TEAM) conference currently underway in Boksburg, South Africa, where the focus too is on the MDGs, Yumoto said "it shows that we are in mission with the worldwide Anglican Communion."
The Fund will assign $2 million of the total $3 million to be used in support of ERD's NetsforLifeSM program, a partnership for malaria prevention in 16 countries in sub-Saharan Africa with a possible pilot program in Asia. The program promotes an integrated prevention model that focuses on delivering long-lasting insecticide-treated nets, building community awareness about malaria, training people on proper use of the nets and educating communities to seek treatment while advocating for better access to drug therapies.
"By 'inspiring' individual Episcopalians, churches and dioceses to participate in this partnership, we are saving the lives of children in sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria kills 30,000 children each day," said Radtke.
ERD will work in partnership with Jubilee Ministries to allocate the remaining $1 million for programs targeting global health issues including, but not limited to, malaria prevention in Latin America and the Caribbean.
To make a contribution to the MDG Inspiration Fund using a credit card, please visit the ERD website or call 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Checks can be mailed to: Episcopal Relief and Development, P.O. Box. 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058. Please specify "MDG Inspiration Fund" in the memo line of your check. Your gift will support critical programs fighting malaria and other preventable diseases such as HIV/AIDS.