which affect more than a billion people in the world's poorest countries.
Without treatment, river blindness, guinea-worm and trachoma can disable children and stop adults
The funding will go towards the distribution of tablets to treat diseases and research into new drugs.
Ministers said the aim was to eliminate neglected tropical diseases for good.
The announcement comes ahead of a World Health Organization conference in Geneva dedicated to
neglected tropical diseases and their eradication.
Over the next four years, the UK will spend a total of £360m on programmes to tackle diseases such
Visceral leishmaniasis – a parasitic disease, caused by infected sand flies, which destroys the internal
Guinea-worm disease – an infection transmitted through dirty drinking water containing water fleas
Trachoma – infection from poor hygiene practices which can cause blindness
Lymphatic filariasis – infection transmitted by mosquitoes which can cause swelling of lower limbs
This is double what has been spent annually in the previous four years, the Department for
International Development said.
International Development Secretary Priti Patel said the UK's support would protect more than 200
million people "from a future blighted by tropical disease".
"These diseases belong to the last century. They cause unimaginable suffering and pain to some of
the world's poorest people, forcing them into a deeper cycle of poverty with no way out. Yet they
"These diseases have been named 'neglected' for a reason, but I'm not prepared for them to be
neglected any longer."
The WHO has classified 18 diseases as neglected but treatable tropical diseases, including dengue
and chikungunya, leprosy, sleeping sickness and Chagas disease.
They are all infectious diseases that occur in tropical and subtropical conditions in 149 countries of
They mainly affect people who live in poverty, who have no clean drinking water and who are in
close contact with infectious insects and animals, such as mosquitoes.
They cost billions of dollars every year to developing economies because adults affected are too ill to
go to work.
The diseases are avoidable but if not treated, they can deform, disable and even kill.