Foreign Affairs Minister, Nanaia Mahuta says seed funding announced today for a new World Bank initiative will strengthen global prevention, preparedness and responses to future pandemics.
“We cannot afford to wait until the next pandemic. We must all play our part to support developing countries to strengthen their planning to prepare and respond to future outbreaks,” Minister Mahuta said.
Aotearoa New Zealand will become a founding donor of the new Financial Intermediary Fund, with seed funding of NZ$2 million. The World Bank Board of Executive Directors agreed to establish the fund in June, and is now working with the World Health Organization, donor countries and other partners to further develop the initiative.
The fund is expected to be operational by October. Funds will be channelled through UN bodies, multilateral development banks and other agencies, and will be invested in areas like laboratory systems, disease surveillance, emergency management and communication plans.
“The new Financial Intermediary Fund will play a critical role addressing financing gaps so countries, regional organisations and global institutions are better able to invest now to guard against the impact of future pandemics,” said Ms Mahuta.
“The support for this global fund aligns with our priorities in the Pacific, where we have a focus on building resilience, supporting collective action, and growing the capacity of partner countries.
“A new multilateral fund was also a key recommendation of the report of the WHO-mandated Independent Panel on Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPR), co-chaired by former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark.
“Aotearoa New Zealand looks forward to actively participating in establishing the fund, and working alongside other founding donors and stakeholders. It’s important the fund is inclusive and the interests of smaller states, including those in the Pacific, are reflected in its design and governance,” the Minister said.
More information can be found on the World Bank website: Fact Sheet: Financial Intermediary Fund for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response (worldbank.org)