The Gates Foundation and the UK government’s Department for International Development (DfID) have pledged grants worth $55 million to the eradication of guinea worm disease, which is transmitted by contaminated drinking water. Gates will provide $40 million of the money and DfID the other $15. The grants will be shared between the Carter Center and the World Health Organization. Fewer than 5,000 cases of the disease are now believed to exist, a 52 per cent decrease since 2007. The campaign for eradication began in 1986, when there were an estimated 3.5 million cases.