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BRIEFJune 30, 2022

FAQs: Financial Intermediary Fund for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response

Pandemic preparedness is a top global priority. With broad support from members of the G20, the World Bank Board of Directors approved the establishment of a Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness, and Response (PPR) on June 30, 2022. The FIF PPR, now known as the Pandemic Fund, was established by its Governing Board at its inaugural meeting on September 8-9, 2022 and officially launched at a high-level event on the margins of the G20 Joint Finance and Health Ministers’ Meeting on November 13, 2022.

The Pandemic fund will provide a dedicated stream of additional, long-term financing to strengthen PPR capabilities in low- and middle-income countries and address critical gaps through investments and technical support at the national, regional, and global levels. It will draw on the strengths and comparative advantages of key institutions engaged in PPR, provide complementary support, improve coordination among partners, incentivize increased country investments, serve as a platform for advocacy, and help focus and sustain much-needed, high-level attention on strengthening health systems.

What is a FIF?

Financial Intermediary Funds (FIFs) provide the global development community with independently governed multi-contributor collaboration platforms. Typically focused on specific themes, FIFs are designed to mobilize significant financial support and engender collective action for development priorities, often contributing to global public goods. At the heart of each FIF is a type of trust fund for which the World Bank serves as trustee. For more information, please visit here.

Why is there a need for a FIF on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (PPR) and how does it fit in the larger global health architecture?

While there are many institutions and financing mechanisms that support PPR activities, none of them is focused solely on PPR. This means that spending on other immediate needs can take priority over critical PPR investments some of whose return may only materialize in the future.

The new Pandemic Fund will help focus and sustain much-needed high-level attention on strengthening health systems. It will provide a dedicated stream of additional, long-term financing to strengthen PPR capabilities in low- and middle-income countries and address critical gaps through investments and technical support at the national, regional, and global levels. The fund will draw on the strengths and comparative advantages of key institutions engaged in PPR, provide complementary support, improve coordination among partners, incentivize increased country investments, and serve as a platform for advocacy.

What is the structure of the Pandemic Fund?

In line with other FIFs, the Pandemic Fund will have four main elements: i) a governing board - the decision-making body of the Pandemic Fund that sets the overall work program and makes funding decisions; ii) a secretariat performing administrative functions, including support to the governing board in the delivery of its responsibilities, iii) a financial trustee served by the World Bank, and iv) the implementing entities to carry out the Pandemic Fund ’s work program at country, regional and global level.

The Pandemic Fund’s Governing Board includes equal representation of sovereign donors and potential implementing country governments (co-investors), as well as representatives from foundations and civil society organizations (CSOs). The Governing Board will appoint a Technical Advisory Panel, chaired by WHO, and comprising leading 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.

What is the role of the World Bank in the Pandemic Fund?

The World Bank is expected to play three roles in the proposed Pandemic Fund, drawing on its financial and program management, operational and legal expertise and experience in establishing and managing FIFs: (i)  trustee, where the World Bank would hold and transfers donor funds to external entities based on instruction of the Pandemic Fund governing body; (ii) secretariat, where the World Bank would provide program management and administration services to the Pandemic Fund and support its governing body; and (iii) implementing entity where WBG institutions would appraise and provide implementation support for Pandemic Fund-financed projects. The World Bank would be represented as an Observer on the Pandemic Fund’s Governing Board

What is the role of WHO in the Pandemic Fund?

The WHO will support the Pandemic Fund as follows: (i) chair of the technical advisory panel 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; ii) participation in the secretariat, through seconding staff to support the work of the Secretariat; and (iii) implementing entity. In these capacities, and in line with other FIFs, the WHO would be represented as an Observer on the Pandemic Fund’s Governing Board.

What’s the status of the Pandemic Fund?

The World Bank’s Board of Directors approved the establishment of the Pandemic Fund on June 30 with broad support from members of the G20 and beyond. The Pandemic Fund was officially established by its Governing Board at its inaugural meeting on September 8-9, 2022. It was officially 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 Pandemic Fund results framework and priorities in the run up to the first call for proposals expected by end of January 2023.

What type of activities will the Pandemic Fund be able to finance?

The Pandemic Fund financing could help strengthen and sustain PPR capacity in areas such as zoonotic disease surveillance; laboratories; emergency communication, coordination and management; critical health workforce capacities; and community engagement. Pandemic Fund-financed projects can also help strengthen PPR at the regional and global levels, for example, by building capacity for medical countermeasures. The Pandemic Fund can support peer-to-peer learning, provide targeted technical assistance, and help with the systematic monitoring of PPR capacities.

What is the role of CSOs in the governance structure of the Pandemic Fund?

The Pandemic Fund’s governance structure is inclusive and agile and ensures the voices of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are captured. The Pandemic Fund`s Governing Board includes two voting seats for CSOs.

What will be the role of the implementing countries in the governance structure of the Pandemic Fund?

The Pandemic Fund’s Governing Board includes equal representation of sovereign donors and potential implementing country governments (co-investors), as well as representatives from foundations and civil society organizations (CSOs). This reflects the Pandemic Fund’s commitment to inclusive and effective governance and operating arrangements with high standards of transparency and accountability.

Which organizations will serve as implementing entities? 

The Pandemic Fund finances projects, programs, and activities that are aligned with its objectives and principles. Program/project implementation is led by implementing partners that are accredited by the Pandemic Fund`s Governing Board.

The following entities are pre-accredited to become implementing partners for the Pandemic Fund, at establishment: African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, European Investment Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization, Inter-American Development Bank, International Finance Corporation, UNICEF, World Bank, and World Health Organization, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

Who will be the recipients of the Pandemic Fund financing? 

The Pandemic Fund aims to provide financing to low-and middle-income countries and regions to strengthen their capacity in PPR. Accredited implementing entities would receive Pandemic Fund financing and implement programs together with governments as well as regional and global entities. Regional institutions, such as Africa CDC, could receive support through this mechanism.

What will be the distribution in financing for country, regional and global activities? 

The Pandemic Fund’s Governing Board will determine the balance between financing for country, regional and global activities. However, we anticipate that much of the needs for filling the gap of PPR funding will be at the country and regional level.

How will the Pandemic Fund-funded activities be supervised? 

Fund are channeled through accredited implementing entities that carry out Pandemic Fund-funded activities using their own policies and procedures, including for project preparation, appraisal, supervision, monitoring. The reporting process will be set forth in the Operations Manual of the Pandemic Fund, and the implementing entities are expected to follow the timelines as well as the format determined by the Pandemic Fund Board. 

Will all the Pandemic Fund financing be provided as grants?

At this early stage of the Pandemic Fund’s establishment, it is anticipated that the Pandemic Fund will only receive grant contributions and only provide grant financing. 

What will be the financial volume of the Pandemic Fund?

The financial volume of the Pandemic Fund will depend upon contributions from donors. As of September 9, 2022, financial commitments to the Pandemic Fund total more than US$ 1.4 billion. This exceeds the minimum threshold of US$200 million from three donors required by the World Bank’s FIF Management Framework (2019) to establish a FIF. The Pandemic Fund will continue to raise funds for its work after its launch. Future replenishments are expected.

Who are the donors of the Pandemic Fund?

The Pandemic Fund was developed with broad support from members of the G20 and beyond. Over US$1.4 billion in financial commitments have already been announced and more are expected in the coming months. So far, commitments have been made by Australia, Canada, China, the European Commission, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Wellcome Trust.

Will there be a limit/cap to individual financing requests?

The size of funding requests will be determined by the Pandemic Fund Governing Board at the time of a call for proposals.

Is there a minimum threshold for donor contributions?

There is no minimum threshold for donor contributions at this stage.

What is the difference between the new Pandemic Fund and the Health Emergency Preparedness Multi-donor Trust Fund/Program; how are they complementary?

The Health Emergency Preparedness Multi-Donor Trust Fund (HEPR) is a regular trust fund housed in the Bank, which solely contributes funds to finance or co-finance World Bank operations, or supports Bank-executed activities, including analytic work. The new Pandemic Fund is an entity housed at the World Bank but will fund multiple implementing agencies, one of which will be the World Bank. Unlike the HEPRF, the Pandemic Fund will not fund WB projects without the approval of the Pandemic Fund’s Governing Board. The HEPRF will complement the Pandemic Fund by supporting innovations that can be mainstreamed or expanded with support from the Pandemic Fund.

Will the Pandemic Fund also finance activities related to One Health (intersection between human health, animal health and environment)? 

Yes, activities related to One Health, which recognize that human and animal health are interdependent and bound to the health of the ecosystems they share, will be eligible for financing from the Pandemic Fund. A multi-sectoral One Health approach is central to the prevention of public health risks.

Will the Pandemic Fund also fund activities related to Antimicrobial Resistance?

Yes, activities related to Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) will be eligible for financing from the Pandemic Fund. Pandemic prevention and preparedness decrease the risk of infections and therefore pressure for AMR. At the same time, decreases of AMR reduce the risk of infectious outbreaks.

What will be the private sector’s role in the Pandemic Fund?

The private sector plays an important role in strengthening countries’ PPR capacity. The Pandemic Fund accepts contributions from the private sector. Furthermore, it can support the private sector’s efforts in PPR through the private sector arms of MDBs.

Will the Pandemic Fund cover payments to companies to reserve manufacturing capacity for vaccines/ treatments/ tests?

The Pandemic Fund could potentially support “the development, procurement and deployment of countermeasures and essential medical supplies.” Final decisions on funding allocations will be made by the Pandemic Fund’s Governing Board, informed by the technical advisory panel.

Last Updated: Nov 28, 2022