The World Bank has a new funding mechanism to help low- and middle-income countries beef up their abilities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to future pandemics. www.science.org/content/article/news-glance-science-moonshot-uc-student-strike-and-x-ray-boost?
Launched last week at the Group of 20 (G-20) summit, a forum convened by the world’s major developed and emerging economies, the Pandemic Fund already has more than $1.4 billion in seed money pledged from 24 countries. It aims to help countries improve surveillance of pathogens in animals that might trigger human pandemics, strengthen laboratories and health workforces, and fortify delivery of drugs and vaccines. An independent panel advised the G-20 that international financing for these efforts ideally should increase by $75 billion over the next 5 years. A variety of funders have separately provided money to financially strapped countries to help with their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, but several expert groups had called for long-term, reliable, and well-coordinated funding mechanisms to handle future ones more effectively. The fund’s secretariat, guided by an advisory panel that the World Health Organization chairs, will soon issue its first call for proposals.