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World Bank Board Approves New Pandemic Prevention Fund

KUALA LUMPUR (July 3): The World Bank has established a Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (PPR) in low- and middle-income countries.

In a statement posted on its website on June 30, the bank said the World Health Organization (WHO) will play a central role and provide technical leadership.

The fund will provide additional resources dedicated to PPR, incentivize countries to increase investments, improve coordination between partners and serve as a platform for advocacy.

The bank said the FIF will complement funding and technical support provided by the World Bank, leverage WHO’s strong technical expertise and engage other key organizations.

World Bank Group President David Malpass said the World Bank is the largest donor to PPR, with active operations in more than 100 developing countries to strengthen their health systems.

He said the FIF will provide additional long-term funding to complement the work of existing institutions in helping low- and middle-income countries and regions prepare for the next pandemic.

Meanwhile, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said access to funding for pandemic prevention and preparedness is crucial. Covid-19 has revealed significant gaps in preparedness capabilities, which the Financial Intermediary Fund can address in a coherent way, as part of the global health emergency preparedness and response architecture.

“WHO will play a central role in the FIF, providing technical leadership for its work in close collaboration with the World Bank to achieve this ambitious vision,” he said.

The World Bank said the objective of the FIF is to provide financing to fill critical gaps in pandemic PPR to build country capacity in areas such as disease surveillance, laboratory systems, health, communication and emergency management and community engagement.

It can also help fill gaps in regional and global capacity building, for example by supporting data sharing, regulatory harmonization and capacity for coordinated development, supply, distribution and deployment of countermeasures. -measures and essential medical supplies.