03/01/2013 06:39 pm ET

Ray Chambers Appointed UN Special Envoy For Health MDG Financing

Ray Chambers was appointed today by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as the Special Envoy for Financing of the Health Related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Chambers is the first person to hold the newly created position.

MDGs were set by the UN in 2000 and reflect that body's effort to combat disease, hunger, poverty, and child mortality; promote gender equality; and improve maternal health, among other objectives. All 193 UN members have agreed to attempt to achieve the eight goals by 2015.

Chambers, a philanthropist who co-founded the charity Malaria No More, and who is co-chair of the Board of Directors of GBCHealth, has been the UN's Special Envoy for Malaria since 2008 (a role that the Secretary General has concurrently renewed for Chambers). In that time period, Chambers oversaw an effort that raised more than $4 billion to combat malaria, and distributed more than 400 million mosquito nets.

When he was appointed, Chambers noted that one of his stated goals was to reduce malaria-related deaths to near zero by 2015. Malaria-related deaths have fallen more than 25% globally since 2000. Still, there were 216 million estimated malaria-related cases in 2010.

In his new role, Chambers will be charged with securing funds from the public and private sectors to continue the effort to achieve the UN's eight MDGs.

"Mr. Chambers has been very successful in mobilizing resources and public-private partnership in the fight against malaria,” said Ban. “Now, with the urgent need to secure funding for the health-related MDGs, I have asked the Special Envoy to develop a business plan to ensure that we have the resources to achieve our goals.”