The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved the establishment of a financial intermediary fund (FIF) that will finance critical investments to strengthen global pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response (PPR) capacities.
With a focus on low- and middle-income countries, the fund will ‘bring additional, dedicated resources for PPR, incentivize countries to increase investments, enhance coordination among partners, and serve as a platform for advocacy’.
The FIF will complement the financing and technical support provided by the World Bank, leverage the strong technical expertise of WHO, and engage other key organizations.
Developed with leadership from the United States, and from Italy and Indonesia as part of their G20 Presidencies, and with broad support from the G20 and beyond, over US$1 billion in financial commitments have already been announced for the FIF, including contributions from the United States, the European Union, Indonesia, Germany, the United Kingdom, Singapore, the Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.
The goal of the FIF is to provide financing to address critical gaps in pandemic PPR to strengthen country capacity in areas such as disease surveillance, laboratory systems, health workforce, emergency communication and management, and community engagement. It can also help address gaps in strengthening regional and global capacity, for example, by supporting data sharing, regulatory harmonization, and capacity for coordinated development, procurement, distribution and deployment of countermeasures and essential medical supplies.
In the coming weeks, the Bank and WHO will work closely with donors and other partners to develop the detailed scope and design of the FIF. The ongoing discussions will be informed by the extensive inputs provided through stakeholder engagement. The goal is to launch the FIF in fall 2022.
Drawing on its financial and legal platform, program management and operational expertise, and experience in managing FIFs, the World Bank will serve as the FIF’s Trustee and host the Secretariat, which will be staffed by the Bank and WHO. Drawing on its technical expertise, the WHO will also lead on supporting and coordinating the work of the FIF’s technical advisory panel. Implementing entities for FIF-financed projects in addition to the World Bank Group are expected to include WHO, other multilateral development banks and United Nations agencies, as well as other organizations. The FIF will build on the existing global health architecture for PPR, within the context of the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) and associated monitoring mechanisms, with a central technical role for WHO.