The new financial intermediary fund (FIF) for pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response (PPR) was officially established by the FIF Governing Board. The 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. 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, serve as a platform for advocacy, and help focus and sustain much-needed, high-level attention on strengthening health systems.
“Covid-19 has highlighted the pressing need for action to build stronger health systems,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass. “Investing now will save lives and resources for the years to come. We welcome the broad support from the international community for this new, multilateral financial intermediary fund at the World Bank to help low- and middle-income countries and regions become better prepared for global health crises and are pleased to have been able to proceed quickly in establishing the fund.”
The next pandemic is a matter of when, not if
The fund’s establishment follows approval by the World Bank’s Board of Directors earlier this year. The World Bank will serve as the FIF’s trustee and host the Secretariat, which will include technical staff seconded from the World Health Organization (WHO). 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.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has been a seismic shock to the world, but we also know that the next pandemic is a matter of when, not if,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “The suffering and loss we have all endured will be in vain unless we learn the painful lessons from Covid-19 and put in place the measures to fill critical gaps in the world’s defences against epidemics and pandemics. The FIF is one of those key measures, and WHO looks forward to fulfilling its technical leadership role in advising the FIF Board on where to make the most effective investments to protect health, especially in low- and middle-income countries.”