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BRIEFApril 5, 2023

Demand for funding from Pandemic Fund exceeds expectations with requests totaling over $7 billion

Pandemic Fund

The Pandemic Fund launched the application process for the first round of funding with a call for expressions of interest (EoI) in February 2023. The demand for resources was unexpectedly high,  exceeding the available funding of $300 million by 23 times.  While the Pandemic Fund will make fundraising a priority, the high demand also shows that more financing is needed from other/multiple sources. 

Governments of low and middle-income countries from around the world have expressed significant needs to strengthen their pandemic prevention, preparedness and response capacity.  

‘The first round of funding will be a learning experience for all of us. The Pandemic Fund received 650 expressions of interest with requests for grant financing of over $7 billion, or about 24 times the amount of funding available through the first call for proposals. This is a proof that countries want to invest in pandemic preparedness and build their capacity to respond to the next pandemic,’ said Dr. Chatib Basri, Chair of the Pandemic Fund Board

While the majority (73%) of submitted EoI are single-country proposals, 16% are multi-country requests and 11% are from regional entities​. The Fund’s initial grants will focus on strengthening comprehensive disease surveillance and early warning systems, laboratory systems, and public health workforce capacity. Most of the Expressions of Interest cover at least two of those priorities and are for projects in sub-Saharan Africa. 

‘We are very encouraged to see so much engagement with the Pandemic Fund so soon after the launch. While we are still early in the process, the number of expressions of interest is remarkable and it certainly indicates that much more financing will be needed for pandemic preparedness going forward,’ said Priya Basu, Executive Head of the Secretariat for the Pandemic Fund. 

The call for proposals was issued in early March and applicants have until May 19, 2023 to submit formal proposals for the first phase. The Governing Board is expected to announce funding decisions in July.