Singapore to contribute US$10 million to Financial Intermediary Fund for Pandemic Prevention Preparedness and Response
Following the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, global leaders have made plans to better prepare their countries financially for future pandemics.
Countries across the world are still reeling from the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response, the G20 Joint Finance and Health Ministers Meeting that took place on Tuesday (Jun 21) proposed a financial intermediary fund (FIF) for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (PPR).
Singapore will provide US$10 million (S$13.8 million) to the FIF in support of this international effort.
The FIF is a trust fund hosted by the World Bank that combines public and private funding to prevent infectious diseases, combat climate change, and offer global public goods like food security.
With the FIF set in place, it intends to close financing gaps in PPR and encourage a more coordinated approach to such projects. It will complement existing efforts to catalyse domestic investments in low and lower-middle-income countries, as well as strengthen pandemic PPR capacities at regional and global levels.
This proposal took in recommendations from the G20 High Level Independent Panel. Its report found that the world still lacks the resources to prevent or contain future epidemics or pandemics. As such, the Panel urges the G20 and the international community to act quickly to address current COVID-19 response deficiencies.
Infectious disease surveillance, resilience of national health systems, global capacity to provide and deliver vaccines and other medical countermeasures, and global governance are the four critical readiness gaps identified by the Panel. If these flaws are rectified, future pandemic risks can be significantly decreased.
The Panel lays out four areas for international action in its report.
First, to secure a fundamental shift towards greater multilateral financing for global health security, including a reinforced and formatted World Health Organisation (WHO).
Second, make the primary mandate of the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) to include global public goods — particularly for pandemic security and climate action.
Next, create a Global Health Threats Fund deploying US$10 billion (S$13.8 million) in additional funding a year to give strong and quick support for initiatives to fill global preparedness gaps.
Lastly, establish a new Global Health Threats Board to enhance global governance for pandemic security.
The Panel asks that public funding for international financing increase by at least US$75 billion (S$104 billion) over the following five years, or US$15 billion (S$20.8 billion) annually.
The G20 will carefully evaluate the Panel’s report and recommendations, prior to the Joint Finance and Health Ministers Meeting in October.
Singapore’s Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said: “Achieving safety from pandemics will require a basic shift in thinking about international cooperation.
“This is fundamentally not about aid, but collective investments in global public goods from which all nations benefit. It is the ultimate case for both national self-interest and international solidarity at the same time.”
Singapore is a supporter of international programs aimed at improving global health security. We have made contributions to the Advance Market Commitment (AMC) mechanism for the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX), as well as to the WHO and other international health authorities for COVID-19 responses.