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How to Design a Pandemic Preparedness and Response Fund

This month, G20 finance ministers and central bank governors will be discussing a new financing vehicle to help all countries develop the capacity to stop future health emergencies before they get out of hand. But success ultimately will depend on whether they can embrace new governance principles and methods.

WASHINGTON, DC – With over two-thirds of the African continent still unvaccinated against COVID-19, it is clear that the global pandemic preparedness and response (PPR) regime remains seriously underfunded and lacking in resilient, effective delivery systems. While the World Health Organization’s Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) has helped to address the gross inequity in access to testing, treatments, and vaccines, it lacks the financial backing needed to support low-income countries comprehensively.

Scientific and economic research has shown that a future air-borne pandemic could kill millions of people and cause economic chaos, especially in the context of increased urbanization and intensifying climate change. The emergence of another novel pathogen is inevitable, and when it comes, it could well pose an existential threat to humanity. As with the battle against global warming, the costs of inaction are much greater than the costs of action.

Last October, the Italian G20 Presidency issued a PPR roadmap to ensure that the world is better prepared for the next global health challenge. In the coming days, G20 finance ministers and central bank governors will receive a progress report from the G20 Joint Finance and Health Task Force, the body created to monitor performance.

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