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New global facility insures against pandemic risk


New global facility insures against pandemic risk

Waldemarus / shutterstock.com

The Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility has been developed by the World Bank Group and its partners to fill a vital gap in the global aid architecture for health financing, as Priya Basu of the World Bank reports.

Pandemics—one of the greatest unmanaged and uninsured global risks in the world—are a global security threat that demands a truly global response.

The Ebola crisis that hit West Africa in 2014, and more recently, growing concerns over Zika, have highlighted that the world remains ill-prepared for a fast-moving virus. An important lesson from the Ebola crisis is that a more timely response could have saved thousands of lives and billions of dollars.

The absence of an instrument that could provide adequate and effective funding at the first signs of a crisis led to the need for a pass-the-hat fundraising appeal in the months that led up to the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring Ebola as a “public health emergency of international concern” in August 2014. By then, the outbreak had spread across three countries, killing thousands of people.

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