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G20 agrees to set up global pandemic preparedness fund

G20 agrees to set up global pandemic preparedness fund

The G20 countries have tentatively agreed to establish a worldwide pandemic preparedness fund, which would most likely be based at the World Bank.

The United States and Indonesia have pushed for the creation of such a fund to assist the world in better preparing for future pandemics, while others are afraid that it may damage the World Health Organization and other global health organizations. 

However, after talks of finance ministers in Washington this week, Indonesia, the G20 chair, issued a statement confirming that the G20 had “reached an agreement” on establishing a new fund to address the “financial gap” for pandemic preparedness, prevention, and response.

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The most effective alternative, it added, would be a financial intermediary fund based at the World Bank, with the goal of finalizing the details by the G20 health ministers’ conference in June.

The World Health Organization and the World Bank estimated earlier this week that the annual financing deficit for pandemic preparedness was $10.5 billion and that any preparedness fund would need to be funded over five years, implying a $50 billion request.

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However, the G20 provided no information on the amount of the new financial intermediary fund, or FIF, or WHO’s role in it.

It was “essential,” according to WHO’s recommendations to the G20 earlier this week, that the fund did not jeopardize existing public health funds, and that the WHO had a decision-making role in the fund.

President David Malpass of the World Bank said on Wednesday that the fund has “increasing support” and that the organization will work with WHO and other partners to establish it.

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