Pandemic preparedness is a top global priority. With broad support from the G20, the World Bank Board of Directors approved the establishment of a Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response (PPR) on June 30, 2022.
The FIF will complement the financing and technical support provided by the World Bank and other organizations to strengthen health systems and PPR capacities in low-income and middle-income countries and regions. It will bring additional, dedicated resources for PPR, incentivize countries to increase investments, enhance coordination among partners, and serve as a platform for advocacy.
Discussions on the FIF’s modalities are ongoing and will continue over the coming months. The FIF is expected to be operational later in 2022.
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 will 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 FIF on PPR will help to focus and sustain much-needed high-level attention on strengthening PPR during “peace time,” complementing existing mechanisms. It will provide a dedicated stream of additional, long-term funding to strengthen critical PPR functions in low- and middle-income countries. It will complement the work of existing institutions, providing international financing for PPR and drawing on their comparative advantages to catalyze funding from private, philanthropic, and bilateral sources. The FIF will also have the flexibility to work through a variety of existing institutions and adjust over time as needs and the institutional landscape evolves.
What will be the structure of the PPR FIF?
In line with other FIFs, the PPR FIF will have four main elements: i) a governing board - the decision-making body of the FIF with responsibility for setting the overall work program of the FIF and making 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 FIF implementing entities to carry out the FIF’s work program at country, regional and global level. The governing board will be advised by a technical advisory panel that would bring in technical expertise from international organizations, governments, and the private sector, as well as other specialized health expertise, as needed.
The exact composition of the governing board, the roles/responsibilities of members, the preferred decision-making process and as well as the composition and responsibilities of the technical advisory board are matters that have not yet been finalized and will be discussed over the coming weeks. The ultimate decisions will be made by the founding donors.
What will be the role of the World Bank in the FIF?
The World Bank is expected to play three roles in the proposed PPR FIF, 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 FIF governing body; (ii) secretariat, where the World Bank would provide program management and administration services to the FIF and support its governing body; and (iii) implementing entity where WBG institutions would appraise and provide implementation support for FIF-financed projects. The World Bank would be represented as an Observer on the FIF’s Governing Board
What will be the role of WHO in the FIF?
The proposed FIF builds on the existing global health architecture for PPR, including the International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005) and associated monitoring mechanisms, ensuring a central role for the WHO. As the international organization with responsibility for pandemic preparedness, it is envisaged that the WHO would support the FIF as follows: (i) member of the technical advisory panel, along with other leading experts; (ii) participation in the secretariat, through seconding staff who would help support and coordinate the work of the technical advisory panel; and (iii) implementing entity. In these capacities, and in line with other FIFs, the WHO would be represented as an Observer on the FIF’s Governing Board.
What’s the status of the FIF on PPR?
The World Bank’s Board of Directors approved the establishment of the FIF on June 30. Discussions on the FIF’s design are ongoing and will continue over the coming months.
Ahead of the World Bank Board’s approval, the World Bank engaged with a broad set of stakeholders, including CSOs and potential beneficiary countries, to seek input on the FIF’s structure, which was laid out in a white paper prepared by the World Bank. The white paper was shared publicly, and 78 organizations, countries and individuals provided inputs. We are now proceeding with the setting up of the FIF. This process, which will continue through July and August, is led by the founding donors, and supported by the World Bank and WHO in consultation with partners and stakeholders.
What type of activities will the FIF be able to finance?
The FIF will provide financing to strengthen and sustain global, regional, and country-level PPR capacity. The initial focus is expected to be at country-level with priority areas such as disease surveillance; laboratory systems; emergency communication, coordination and management; critical health workforce capacities; and community engagement. The FIF also aims to help build regional capacity for PPR functions and coordination; strengthen key global PPR functions; and support technical assistance, analytics, learning and convening. However, the final scope of financing will be decided by the governing board.
What will be the role of CSOs in the governance structure of the FIF?
The FIF’s governance structure will be inclusive and agile and ensure dedicated processes to capture the voices of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). Details on the governance structure are still under discussion and will be finalized by the founding donors over the coming weeks.
What will be the role of the recipient countries in the governance structure of the FIF?
In the majority of FIFs for which the World Bank houses the FIF secretariat, representatives of recipient countries/regions are represented on the Governing Board. They could serve either as decision-making members or as non-voting members, depending on a determination on how best to manage real or perceived conflicts of interest between those deciding on funding allocations and those receiving funds as final beneficiaries. Details on the governance structure are still under discussion and will be finalized by the founding donors over the coming weeks.
Which organizations will serve as implementing entities?
In its initial phase, per the FIF Management Framework (2019), Multilateral Development Banks engaged in PPR, the IMF, and UN agencies are accredited as implementing entities. Once the FIF is launched, the governing board can consider including additional implementing entities based on an agreed accreditation framework and subject to the Bank’s no objection. There are currently plans to initiate an accreditation process for a few international global health entities working on PPR (e.g., The Global Fund, Gavi and CEPI) after the Board approval.
Who will be the recipients of the FIF financing?
The FIF aims to provide financing to low-and middle-income countries to strengthen their capacity in prevention of, preparedness for, and response to pandemics. Accredited implementing entities would receive FIF financing and implement programs together with governments as well as regional and global entities. Regional institutions, such as Africa CDC, could be beneficiaries through this mechanism.
What will be the distribution in financing for country, regional and global activities?
The FIF’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 FIF-funded activities be supervised?
FIF funds are channeled through accredited implementing entities that carry out FIF-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 FIF, and the implementing entities are expected to follow the timelines as well as the format determined by the FIF Board.
Will all FIF financing be provided as grants?
At this early stage of the FIF’s establishment, it is anticipated that the FIF will only receive grant financing and only provide grant financing.
When do you expect the FIF to be up and running?
It is anticipated that the FIF will be officially launched in fall 2022.
What will be the financial volume of the FIF?
The financial volume of the FIF will depend upon contributions from donors. As of end of July 2022, proposed contributions to the FIF total US$ 1.3 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 FIF will continue to raise funds for its work after its launch. Future replenishments are expected.
Who are the founding donors of the FIF?
As of the end of July, 2022, contributions have been announced by the following donors: United States (US$450 million), the European Commission (US$450 million), Italy (Euros 100 million), Germany (Euros 50 million), Indonesia (US$50 million), China (US$50 million), the United Kingdom (GBP 25 million), South Korea (US$30 million), the United Arab Emirates (US$20 million), Japan (US$10 million), Singapore (US$10 million), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (US$15 million), the Rockefeller Foundation (US$15 million), and the Wellcome Trust (GBP10 million). Several other donors have also signaled their intent to contribute.
Will there be a limit/cap to individual financing requests?
The size of funding requests will be determined by the FIF 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 FIF 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 FIF is an entity housed at the World Bank but will fund multiple implementing agencies, one of which will be the World Bank. Unlike the MDTF, the FIF will not fund WB projects without the approval of the FIF’s Governing Board. The HEPRF will complement the FIF by supporting innovations that can be mainstreamed or expanded with support from the FIF.
Will the FIF also fund 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 FIF. A multi-sectoral One Health approach is central to the prevention of public health risks.
Will the FIF also fund activities related to Antimicrobial Resistance?
Yes, activities related to Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) will be eligible for financing from the FIF. 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 FIF?
The private sector plays an important role in strengthening countries’ PPR capacity. The FIF 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 FIF cover payments to companies to reserve manufacturing capacity for vaccines/ treatments/ tests?
The FIF could potentially support “the development, procurement and deployment of countermeasures and essential medical supplies.” As outlined in the FIF white paper final decisions on funding allocations will be made by the decision-making members on the FIF’s governing board, informed by the technical advisory panel.
Last Updated: Aug 08, 2022