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World Bank Boosts Efforts to Combat Malaria

The World Bank says it will boost its efforts to combat malaria, calling the fight against the deadly disease uneven and too slow.

The bank says the new Global Strategy and Booster program will include a special task force to ensure that anti-malarial efforts are part of its lending programs for poor countries. Initial estimates on funding the program are between $500 million to $1billion over the next five years.

The bank says the biggest challenges are in Africa, where the mosquito-borne disease kills more than one million people a year, most of them children. But the organization also plans to step up help to other regions, including South and East Asia.

A top bank official says the program will be "good for reducing human suffering and good for economic growth."

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.