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.