Reaching the Last Mile announces AED55 million commitment to the Global Institute for Disease Elimination (GLIDE)

23 April 2023
Reaching the Last Mile, a portfolio of global health programs driven by the philanthropy of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, today announced a AED55 million commitment to the Global Institute for Disease Elimination, its second since the Institute’s launch in 2019.

The announcement was accompanied by a signing ceremony, held during the AVPN Global Conference 2024, which is taking place in Abu Dhabi under the presence and patronage of His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chair of the International Humanitarian and Philanthropic Council.

The grant confirms Reaching the Last Mile’s belief in GLIDE’s mission to realize a world free from preventable infectious diseases, and to accelerate progress toward disease elimination and eradication.

Nassar Al Mubarak, CEO of Reaching the Last Mile, said: “Under the leadership of the His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, this grant reflects Reaching the Last Mile’s ongoing commitment to improving global health outcomes, and to advancing the elimination of infectious diseases that continue to impact the world’s most vulnerable communities.

“In strengthening the local ecosystem, this partnership helps affirm Abu Dhabi as a leading contributor to efforts to combat preventable disease, and an epicenter for global health progress, innovation and collaboration.”

GLIDE was established in 2019 by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to speed the elimination of preventable infectious diseases, specifically malaria, polio, and the neglected tropical diseases lymphatic filariasis and river blindness.

The Institute represented a critical addition to the global health sector, building technical expertise and knowledge within Abu Dhabi, while also leveraging the emirate’s unique positioning to better link endemic countries with international partners.

Simon Bland, CEO of GLIDE, expressed his appreciation for the extended support from Reaching the Last Mile.

“This continued commitment from our founding funder is a testament to the importance of our mission and signals confidence in our ability to make a meaningful impact on global health and the future of infectious disease,” he said. “This grant enables us to continue working in collaboration with communities and global partners to further elevate and accelerate efforts to consign these ancient diseases to the history books.”

Over five years, GLIDE has launched over 45 programs across 30 countries, working with local and international stakeholders to build in-country capacity, seed research, and fund innovations to achieve elimination targets.

GLIDE has also supported the education of multiple cohorts of students and public health professionals through its Disease Elimination and Eradication Course, while the Institute’s Falcon Awards for Disease Elimination have emerged as a new platform to find and scale novel projects in support of disease elimination goals.

In the face of climate change, antimicrobial resistance and unprecedented humanitarian crises, gains against major infectious diseases hang in the balance. If unchecked, these diseases will continue to impact the lives and livelihoods of billions of people around the world, as well as their communities and economies.

This strategic reinvestment will extend GLIDE’s ability to play a catalytic role in helping to reach the last mile of disease elimination and in solving these systemic challenges.