The devastating human, economic and social cost of COVID-19 has highlighted the urgent need for coordinated action to strengthen health systems and mobilize additional resources for disaster prevention, preparedness and response (PPR). pandemic.
The Board of Directors of the World Bank today approved the establishment of a Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) that will finance critical investments to build pandemic PPR capacity at country, regional and global levels, putting the emphasis on low- and middle-income countries. 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 FIF will complement funding and technical support provided by the World Bank, leverage WHO’s strong technical expertise, and engage other key organizations.
Developed with the leadership of the United States, Italy and Indonesia under their G20 presidencies, and with broad support from the G20 and beyond, over $1 billion in financial commitments have already been announced for the IFF, including contributions from the United States, the European Union, Indonesia, Germany, the United Kingdom, Singapore, the Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.
“I am delighted with the broad support of our shareholders for a new Financial Intermediary Fund at the World Bank,” World Bank Group President David Malpass said. “The World Bank is the largest donor to PPR with active operations in over 100 developing countries to strengthen their health systems. The FIF will provide additional long-term financing to complement the work of existing institutions in helping low- and middle-income countries and regions prepare for the next pandemic.
“Access to funding for pandemic prevention and preparedness is critical. 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,” said WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “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.”
The objective of the FIF is to provide funding to address critical pandemic PPR gaps to build country capacity in areas such as disease surveillance, laboratory systems, health workforce, 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.
In the coming weeks, the Bank and WHO will work closely with donors and other partners to develop the detailed scope and design of the FIF. The ongoing discussions will be informed by the many inputs provided through Stakeholder Engagement (LINK). The goal is to launch the FIF in the fall of 2022.
Drawing on its financial and legal platform, program management and operational expertise, as well as its experience in managing FIFs, the World Bank will serve as the trustee of the FIF and host the secretariat, which will be staffed of the Bank and WHO. Drawing on its technical expertise, WHO will also lead the support and coordination of the work of the FIF Technical Advisory Group. In addition to the World Bank Group, implementing entities for FIF-funded projects are expected to include WHO, other multilateral development banks and UN agencies, as well as other organizations. The FIF will build on the existing global health architecture for PPR, in the context of the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) and associated surveillance mechanisms, with a central technical role for WHO.
The key principles of the FIF will be to complement the work of existing institutions that provide international funding for PPR, building on their comparative advantages and catalyzing funding from private, philanthropic and bilateral sources. In addition, the FIF should incentivize countries to invest more in PPR, serve as an integrator of PPR efforts, and have the flexibility to work with a variety of existing institutions and adapt over time as needs and the institutional landscape are changing. The structure of the FIF will combine inclusiveness and agility and will operate under high standards of transparency and accountability.