The UK has pledged £25million to help found a new international fund to prevent or prepare for future pandemics. Money from a new World Bank fund aims to prevent another disaster with the health and economic impacts of Covid-19.
UK aid money will go to a “financial intermediary fund” to provide support to countries whose health systems are dangerously ill-prepared for large infectious disease outbreaks. Announcing the plan at the G7 summit in Schloss Elmau, Germany, Boris Johnson said: “While the worst days of the coronavirus pandemic are thankfully behind us, we cannot be complacent.
“The next potential pandemic could emerge at any time and with it the devastating human and economic consequences we have suffered over the past two and a half years. We need to make sure we learn the lessons of Covid-19 and be better prepared next time around. We owe it to the people of the world to say “never again”.
The funding announced by the Prime Minister will make the UK a founding donor to the fund, alongside the US, European Union and others. Officials fear the risk of a pandemic on the scale of Covid-19 occurring in the next 25 years could be as high as 50% and a key lesson from 2020 is that even small investments in preparedness can have huge returns .
David Malpass, President of the World Bank Group, said: “I welcome the UK’s support for the new Financial Intermediary Fund to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response functions in countries. in development. The fund will provide a dedicated stream of additional long-term financing to complement the work of existing institutions and operate to high standards of transparency and accountability.
“Covid-19 has underscored the urgent need for coordinated action to build stronger health systems and mobilize additional resources to prepare for the next pandemic in countries, regions and globally.”