G20 committed to financing better pandemic response
The G20 members and several relevant international organizations
agreed to work together to create the Financial Intermediary Fund
(FIF) to help countries in need to face any pandemic in the
During the 1st G20 Joint Finance and Health Ministerial Meeting
held in Yogyakarta on Tuesday, Indonesian Finance Minister Sri
Mulyani emphasized the urgency for collaborative work between
health and finance sectors to better prepared for future pandemics,
considering that the COVID-19 would not be the last.
"The world is definitely watching us - how the G20 is going to
respond with delivering concrete action in pandemic preparedness
and response. The world is waiting for us," Mulyani remarked.
Furthermore, she also asserted the importance of inclusivity in the
work of FIF, led together by the World Health Organization (WHO)
and the World Bank, which required the involvement of both
developed and developing countries.
"Only then, we can be effective in preparing to tackle the next
global pandemic together," Mulyani stated.
"I would like to acknowledge the central role of the WHO in
fighting pandemic and the importance of including the voice of
developing countries in our institutional arrangement to create the
most effective system for pandemic preparedness and response," she
The WHO and the World Bank estimated that US$31 billion is required
annually for strengthening global health security, according to WHO
Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
About two-third of that fund could come from existing resources but
that leaves a gap of US$10 billion per year. Hence, he expects that
the FIF would help close that gap.
WHO and the World Bank have been cooperating to establish the FIF,
which would be overseen by a board that takes a decision on funding
allocation supported by a technical advisory panel.
Both the board and the technical advisory panel would be supported
by the joint WHO-WB secretariat based at the Bank's headquarters in
Washington, with assisting staff from the WHO.
According to the plan, the Bank will provide financial and
administrative leadership at the secretariat, operate as a
representative for the FIF, hold and transfer relief funds, as well
as provide administrative services.
Meanwhile, the WHO will provide technical leadership; coordinate
input for the technical advisory panel; and prepare relevant
technical documentation, recommendations, and reports for the
Both the World Bank and WHO will act as implementing entities,
along with other global health partners with relevant expertise,
including the Global Fund, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and
Immunization (GAVI), and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness
"We look forward to your active participation in building and
financing a FIF that is inclusive, equitable, and effective in
making our world safer from pandemics," Tedros noted.
To date, the G20 has pushed for an emergency fundraising commitment
of around US$1.1 billion from five member countries and one
international social organization to mobilize the role of FIF.
The pledges came from the United States, the European Union,
Germany, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Wellcome Trust.
Additionally, Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin stated
the meeting was not only focusing on the FIF as the source of funds
to face future pandemics, but the world must also think about the
uses of funds.
"Because money is (only) half the solution for the health crisis.
We need to translate this money into access to vaccines, medicines,
and diagnostic tools," he said at a press conference after the
joint ministerial meeting.
In order to create such access, he explained, the engagement with
private sectors as the producers of vaccines, therapeutics, and
diagnostics was crucial.
"We need to talk to them, to engage with them. How can they
maintain a certain volume commitment? How then we will be able to
distribute equally and very quickly if the next pandemic happens?"
The establishment of FIF is still in the ongoing discussion that
will be continued at the next G20 meetings, hosted this year by
However, as the G20 President, Indonesia will continue to gather as
much as possible support from more countries as well as an
international organization even philanthropists, in order for them
to be able to contribute to the financing side of pandemic
preparedness and response.
Written by: Yashinta Difa Pramudyani, Editor: Fardah Assegaf (c)
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