The Pandemic Fund will provide a dedicated stream of additional, long-term financing to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response capabilities and address critical gaps in low- and middle-income countries through investments and technical support at the national, regional, and global levels.
The devastating human, economic, and social cost of COVID-19 has highlighted the urgent need for coordinated action to build stronger health systems and mobilize additional resources for pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response. While there are many institutions and financing mechanisms that support pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response activities, none of them is focused solely on it. This means that spending on other immediate needs can take priority over critical pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response investments some of whose return may only materialize in the future.
With broad support from the G20 and beyond, on June 30, 2022, the World Bank’s Board of Directors approved the proposal to establish The Pandemic Fund. The World Bank will serve as The Pandemic Fund’s trustee and host the Secretariat, which will include technical staff seconded from the World Health Organization (WHO).
The new Pandemic Fund will provide a dedicated stream of additional, long-term financing to strengthen critical pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response (PPR) capabilities in low- and middle-income countries through investments and technical support at the national, regional, and global levels.
The Pandemic Fund was officially established by its Governing Board at its inaugural meeting on September 8-9, 2022. It was launched at a high-level event hosted by the G20 Presidency of Indonesia on the margins of the G20 Joint Finance and Health Ministers’ Meeting on November 13, 2022, in Bali, Indonesia. The Pandemic Fund Secreteriat will intensify their work with the Governing Board in consultation with the World Bank, WHO, CSOs and other stakeholders to help operationalize the fund and develop the results framework and priorities in the run up to the first call for proposals expected for end of January 2023.
The Governing Board will appoint a Technical Advisory Panel, chaired by WHO, with leading world experts to assess and make recommendations to the Governing Board on the technical merits of proposals for funding, ensuring linkages to the International Health Regulations, as part of the broader global PPR architecture.
Avoiding future pandemics requires investing substantially more in prevention, preparedness, and response. These investments, which could target gaps in surveillance, laboratory capacity, risk communication, zoonotic disease, risk management and more, will help avert the much larger costs that the world would incur in a future pandemic. The fund also aims to bring additional, dedicated resources, incentivize countries to increase investments, enhance coordination among partners, and serve as a platform for advocacy. It will also help to focus and sustain much-needed high-level attention on strengthening health systems while complementing existing mechanisms, engaging other key organizations and and supporting regional initiatives that bring countries together.