G20 unveils global pandemic fund to avoid recurrence of Covid pandemic

The Group of 20 nations has raised $1.4 billion for a global pandemic health fund to prevent a repeat of the Covid-19 outbreak that has killed more than 6.6 million people and paralyzed the world economy.

The World Bank will manage the fund to help low- and middle-income countries prevent and respond to future pandemics, building on commitments from more than 20 donor countries, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, among others. Further promises are expected.

“The amount that has been accrued so far is just a starting figure,” said Sri Mulyani Indrawati, finance minister of Indonesia, host country and head of this year’s G-20 summit. “The estimated need is $31 billion, but it won’t be the one and only instrument related to health system preparedness.”

G-20 countries began creating the fund last year under the Italian presidency as countries struggled to find enough money to fight the pandemic, with a shortfall of up to $16 billion, according to the World Health Organization.

Three years into Covid-19, Southeast Asia’s largest economy is pushing for equal access to global health infrastructure by making it a priority for G-20 meetings this year. This involves getting countries to harmonize health protocols and distribute research and manufacturing capabilities for medical products.

“This will provide all of us with a starting point to demonstrate to the world that the G20 is capable of producing concrete actions that can have global impact,” Indrawati said Sunday at the launch of the fund in Bali.

Biden: Don’t seek conflict with China

US President Joe Biden will make it clear during his bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Indonesia that his country seeks no conflict, a White House official has said. The two leaders are due to meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali this week for their first face-to-face since January 2021.

Russia rejects G20 focus on security

Russia called on the G20 on Sunday to stop talking about security and focus on the world’s most pressing socio-economic issues ahead of the summit. In a statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said it was “fundamentally important for the G20 to focus its efforts on real rather than imagined threats.

FTX CEO Police Quiz; mystery exits

Sam Bankman-Fried’s, has been questioned by Bahamian police and regulators, according to a person familiar with the matter. Around $662 million in tokens mysteriously exited FTX’s international and US exchanges.

FTX had started moving some of its assets to offline wallets and then accelerated those moves “to mitigate damages by observing unauthorized transactions”, according to the US platform’s general counsel, Ryne Miller.

According to investment documents seen by the Financial Times, FTX Trading International held just $900 million in liquid assets as of Thursday compared to $9 billion in liabilities.

Alameda Research’s chief executive and senior FTX officials knew that FTX loaned its customers’ money to Alameda to help it deal with its debts, according to people familiar with the matter.

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