Good morning to colleagues joining us from around the world. I am very pleased to welcome you to this Inaugural Governing Board Meeting of the new Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response (PPR) at the World Bank.
This FIF is an important part of the solution to build stronger health systems and strengthen country, regional and global capacity for PPR, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. It will bring additional, dedicated resources, incentivize countries to increase investments, and enhance coordination among partners.
With support from partners who are here today, we have worked with the founding donors, the WHO, Civil Society Organizations, and other stakeholders to develop the FIF at record speed – less than five months since the request from G20 members. I thank the FIF’s founding donors for their leadership and generous seed contributions. I am encouraged that commitments of over $1.4 billion have already been announced, and I understand that additional commitments are forthcoming.
I’m pleased that in developing this FIF, partners have maintained a strong focus on some important principles.
- First, it will complement the work of existing institutions that provide international financing for PPR, drawing on their comparative advantages.
- Second, it will be designed to catalyze investments by countries, as well public-private partnerships.
- Third, it will serve as an integrator. It won’t become a new silo that further fragments health efforts.
- Fourth, it will have the flexibility to work through a variety of existing institutions and adjust over time as needs and the institutional landscape evolves.
- Fifth, its structure will combine inclusivity and agility.
- And sixth, it will operate with high standards of transparency and accountability.
I wish the FIF’s Governing Board all the best for a productive Inaugural Meeting so that the FIF can start focusing on developing the first Call for Proposals and supporting urgent PPR investment priorities. The needs are enormous, and we must work quickly to start providing financing to strengthen and sustain PPR capacity in key areas, like disease surveillance; laboratories; emergency communication, coordination and management; critical health workforce capacities; and community engagement.
FIF projects can also help strengthen PPR at the regional and global levels, for example, by building capacity for medical countermeasures. The FIF can also support peer-to-peer learning, provide targeted technical assistance, and help with the systematic monitoring of PPR capacities. I look forward to seeing positive results and a healthier world.
Let me now turn to Sri Mulyani to deliver the keynote speech, and then Tedros. Thank you both, and Priya Basu, Head of the Interim Secretariat for the FIF, for your leadership on this initiative.
Sri Mulyani – over to you.