G20 launches pandemic fund, calls for more contributions

Bali, Indonesia, Nov 13 (EFE).- Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, called for more contributions to the global pandemic fund, which the G20 group launched on Sunday to improve the prevention of future health crises.

The fund for pandemic preparedness, which was launched at a Sunday conference with contributions from the World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and World Bank president David Malpass, was created in September and has raised some $1.4 billion so far with donations from 20 countries and three philanthropists.

However, the World Bank, which acts as a trustee to the fund, and the World Health Organization (WHO), which chairs the technical advisory panel, have warned of a gap of $10.5 billion in a recent report.

“The G20 agrees to build a pandemic fund to prevent and prepare for a pandemic. Donors from G20 and non-G20 members, as well as philanthropic organisations, have contributed to the funds. But it is not enough,” Widodo said in a video broadcast during the finance and health ministers’ summit, which ends Sunday in the Indonesian resort island of Bali, ahead of the G20 meeting slated for Tuesday and Wednesday.

“We must ensure community resilience in the face of a pandemic. A pandemic can no longer take lives and destroy the joints of the global economy,” he added.

The fund aims to help low and middle-income countries to boost their pandemic prevention programs by financing surveillance, research and better access to vaccines, among other measures.

Malpass urged all nations to ramp up contributions to the fund saying it would make the world a safer place. EFE


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