28 August 2007Tens of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in eastern Chad fleeing the ongoing crisis in Sudan’s Darfur region will be saved from potentially fatal bouts of malaria thanks to 40,000 long-lasting insecticide-treated nets being sent by the United Nations Foundation. Tens of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in eastern Chad fleeing the ongoing crisis in Sudan’s Darfur region will be saved from potentially fatal bouts of malaria thanks to 40,000 long-lasting insecticide-treated nets being sent by the United Nations Foundation. Without the nets dispatched by the Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign (www.NothingButNets.net), it has been estimated that 25 per cent of he 200,000 refugees and IDPs living in the camps along the Chad-Sudan and Chad-Central African Republic borders could die from malaria. “We asked the tens of thousands of Nothing But Nets supporters to help us purchase and deliver nets to Chad – and they responded overwhelmingly in just three weeks,” Foundation Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Kathy Bushkin Calvin said. Last month, the UN High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the MENTOR Initiative, a non-governmental organization (NGO) working on the ground in the region recognized an emergency need and sought assistance from the Foundation to purchase and deliver nets before the height of the rainy season. “Many lives will be saved through this emergency campaign,” said Richard Allan, CEO of the MENTOR Initiative. “With so many Chadians forced into temporary camps and living under poor conditions, the delivery of these nets is vital to protecting Chadian families from the spread of malaria.” Through a growing network of more than 60,000 people, Nothing But Nets, a grassroots effort to prevent malaria by delivering long-lasting insecticide-treated nets, raised more than $400,000 for the initiative. The National Basketball Association’s Chicago Bulls, a local partner in the campaign, provided the first $10,000 for the emergency appeal. “I want to thank my team and all those who answered this urgent appeal,” said Chicago Bulls forward and Sudan native Luol Deng, a spokesperson for Nothing But Nets. “With your donations, you have prevented the unnecessary suffering of thousands.” A $10 donation to Nothing But Nets covers the cost to purchase and distribute a net and educate a community health worker on its proper use. Malaria kills more than 1 million people each year, most of them children. Bed nets are one of the most cost-effective and simple methods of preventing its spread. The UN Foundation was created in 1998 with the aim of promoting a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world through the support of the UN. Through grant-making and building new and innovative public-private partnerships, it acts to meet the most pressing health, humanitarian, socio-economic and environmental challenges of the 21st century.