Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC) has pledged AED 1.5 million to the Reach campaign in support of its efforts to combat neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).

The commitment, which will be delivered over three years, was announced on Monday in a signing ceremony hosted at ADNIC’s headquarters and attended by Charalampos Mylonas, CEO of ADNIC, and Nassar Al Mubarak, Managing Director of the Reach campaign.

The funds will be directed to the Reaching the Last Mile Fund (RLMF), an ambitious multi-donor initiative to eliminate river blindness and lymphatic filariasis in the Sahel region, which was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, in 2017.

The donation will be used to support preventative treatment and technical activities in the seven countries that the RLMF supports: Mali, Niger, Senegal, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia and Yemen.

NTDs affect 1 in 5 people worldwide, including 1 billion children. These diseases debilitate, disfigure and can be fatal, but are all preventable and treatable. By most commonly affecting vulnerable and marginalised populations, NTDs contribute to intergenerational poverty and cost developing nations billions of dollars each year.

More than 200 million people worldwide require treatment for river blindness, while an estimated 850 million people are at risk of lymphatic filariasis. Nearly 40% of the global NTD burden is shouldered by Africa.

The Reach campaign is a UAE-based fundraising initiative working to raise donations and awareness in support of eliminating NTDs, with all proceeds going towards the RLMF. Since its launch, the RLMF has delivered more than 90 million preventative treatments, trained more than 970,000 health workers and funded more than 2,500 surgeries to prevent long-term disability.