The G20 Presidency of Indonesia, in partnership with the Pandemic Fund secretariat, today officially launched the Pandemic Fund at a high-level event, opened by Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia, on the margins of the G20 Joint Finance and Health Ministers’ Meeting.
Speakers at the event welcomed the launch of the Pandemic Fund as a key part of the solution to reducing risks from epidemics and pandemics in the most vulnerable parts of the world and contributing to a healthier and safer world. The high-level speakers included Indonesia’s Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati and Health Minister Budi Sadikin, World Bank Group President David Malpass, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Italian Minister of Economy and Finance Giancarlo Giorgetti, Vice-Minister of the National Health Commission of China Cao Xuetao, World Bank Managing Director for Operations Axel van Trotsenburg, and Chatib Basri, co-Chair of the Pandemic Fund’s Board, among others.
Drawing on lessons from COVID-19, which exposed huge weaknesses and under investment in pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (PPR), particularly in low- and middle-income countries, the Pandemic Fund is intended to strengthen the capacity of these countries to mitigate the risks of future global health threats. It will provide a dedicated stream of long-term financing for PPR and address critical gaps through investments and technical support at the national, regional, and global levels. The Pandemic Fund is also expected to incentivize countries to prioritize this agenda and increase their own efforts.
“This is the first time the international community has come together around a funding mechanism dedicated to investing in pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response in developing countries – a testament to multilateralism, said Dr. Chatib Basri, co-Chair of the Pandemic Fund Governing Board. “The Pandemic Fund has a unique and vital role to play in making the world safer. PPR is a global public good that benefits all. Every dollar we mobilize to invest in PPR now in low- and middle-income countries will save lives and financial costs and lead to a more resilient world for years to come.”
Developed with Indonesia’s and Italy’s leadership during their respective G20 presidencies, the Pandemic Fund has US$1.4 billion in seed funding already committed by 24 donors. The World Bank and WHO engaged with a wide range of stakeholders including partner countries, civil society organizations (CSOs), and potential implementing entities to create the Pandemic Fund.
“The Pandemic Fund`s structure provides a firm footing for successful operationalization”, said Priya Basu, Executive Head of the Pandemic Fund Secretariat. “Its inclusive governance balances representation from contributors and co-investors, and provides a strong voice for civil society. We`ve built flexibility to deliver support to countries through a variety of existing institutions engaged in international financing of PPR, complementing their work and what countries themselves are doing. We’re focused on fostering coordination among partners and will mantain high standards of transparency and accountability. ”
Since the Pandemic Fund`s establishment in September with the first meeting of its Governing Board, much has been achieved across multiple workstreams. This includes progress in defining principles, priorities, and criteria for allocating funds so as to achieve the highest impact, and in forming the Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) in preparation for the first call for proposal expected in mid December 2022 or early January 2023.
The TAP, under the leadership of its new Chair Dr Michael Ryan, will assess and make recommendations to the Governing Board on the technical merits of proposals for funding, ensuring linkages to the International Health Regulations (2005) and other internationally endorsed legal frameworks, consistent with a One Health approach, as part of the broader global PPR architecture.