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G20 pandemic fund launched by Indonesian president

November 13, 2022

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has said at least $31 billion is required to tackle the next global pandemic. The fund has raised $1.4 billion so far.

People stand in a line to receive a vaccine
Developing countries found it difficult to cope with the coronavirus pandemic Image: Khalis Surry/picture alliance/AA

Health ministers from the Group of 20 (G20) large economies on Sunday agreed to establish a fund to tackle the next global pandemic.

The fund is intended to support low to middle income countries finance efforts like surveillance, research, and better access to vaccines, among other measures. An estimated $1.4-billion (€1.3-billion) has been pledged so far. 

In a video address, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said that that the amount of money raised so far is "not enough."

"The G20 agrees to build a pandemic fund to prevent and prepare for a pandemic. Donors from G20 and non-G20 members, as well as philanthropic organisations, have contributed to the funds. But it is not enough," Widodo said in a video address.

According to him, $31 billion is required to tackle the next global pandemic.

"I expect bigger support," Widodo said. 

The World Bank, which will serve as the fund's trustee and the World Health Organization (WHO), which is advising the group has estimated that the pandemic preparedness funding is short an estimated $10.5 billion every year. 

The G20 plan comes following the experience of many developing nations during the coronavirus pandemic, during which developed nations were accused of hoarding resources such as vaccines

Who is contributing to the fund?

The major contributors of the fund include the United States, Britain, India, China, France, Canada, Australia, Japan and philanthropic organizations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The US has pledged $450 million to the fund, nearly a third of the total.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that the joint fund was an example of what the G20 can do to tackle global problems. 

"I think the steps we have taken this year will help deliver on a vision of a healthier and more responsive global health architecture," she said.

Long shadow of the COVID pandemic

ns/wmr (Reuters, AFP)