President of the World Bank envisions a new mechanism to deal with global pandemics

Created on Monday, 02 February 2015

According to an article written by the President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, and published on the website of the World Economic Forum, the spread of Ebola has highlighted the need for a new mechanism that would enable adequate response to pandemics.

In the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, held this year from 21st to 24th January, representatives of multilateral organisations, governments, the private sector and civil society groups met to discuss, among other topics, the creation of a new global pandemic emergency facility that could rapidly respond to pandemics by delivering money to the countries in crisis.

The ongoing Ebola outbreak has shown that currently the global response is late, inadequate, and slow. In West Africa, there was for a long time a serious shortage of healthcare workers, facilities, and supplies, which meant that many people never received treatment. As the virus continues to spread, even more medical staff is necessary in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

A global pandemic emergency facility could help mobilise resources from both private and public sectors and frontload the financing so that when a global health emergency arises, financial support is readily available and flows quickly to the country in need. Such a facility would drive forward the development of concrete plans to tackle the next outbreak and get health workers and supplies on the ground, and perhaps even provide an advanced market signal for producers of vaccines and drugs. The original article by Jim Yong Kim is available here.