World Bank group launches Pandemic Emergency Finance Facility

K R Srivats New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018

The World Bank Group has launched the much anticipated Pandemic Emergency Finance Facility (PEF) — a new financing mechanism to quickly mobilise funds to tackle global disease outbreaks and create a new insurance market for pandemic risk.

PEF is expected to bring the much needed coordination and speed for future global disease outbreak response efforts.

“Pandemics pose some of the biggest threats in the world to people’s lives and to economies, and for the first time we will have a system that can move funding and teams of experts to the sites of outbreaks before they spin out of control,” Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group, said in a statement.

“This facility addresses a long, collective failure in dealing with pandemics. The Ebola crisis in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone taught all of us that we must be much more vigilant to outbreaks and respond immediately to save lives and also to protect economic growth.”

The PEF facility launch announcement came few days ahead of the May 26-27 Summit of Group of Seven Leaders in Ise-Shima, Japan. G7 leaders had urged the World Bank Group to develop the initiative during their May 2015 summit in Schloss-Elmau, Germany.

Japan — which holds the G7 Presidency -- became the first donor to the PEF initiative and committed $ 50 million.

“Japan is proud to support the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility, which prevents pandemics from undermining important development achievements",” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Japan Taro Aso.

“Innovative financing for crisis responses by PEF, together with financing for preparedness and prevention in peacetime, including through IDA, are important to mitigate human and social losses and to help quickly recover in the event of a crisis. It is cost-effective and should be emphasized at all stages of economic development.”

Published on May 24, 2016

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