U.S. Senators, Japan Propose Similar Pandemic Preparedness Funds

The Lancet: New funds proposed to prevent pandemics
“…In May, a month after U.S. President Donald Trump announced his withdrawal from WHO, a bipartisan bill on global health security was introduced by Republican Senator Jim Risch and two Democrat colleagues. The bill seeks to ‘contain infectious disease outbreaks overseas before they become global pandemics.’ It calls for a commitment of US$3 billion over 5 years, part of which would finance a trust fund, possibly housed at the World Bank, to help boost low-income countries’ epidemic preparedness. … While the three senators work to gain bipartisan support, a separate trust fund on global health security has been taking form at the World Bank, with Japan as the founding donor. Approved by the board in late June, the new fund has a target size of $500 million and has so far received a commitment of $100 million from the Japanese government. The bank is currently in discussions with several donors, but has not yet received other donor commitments. The prospect of two separate funds with virtually the same mandate raises the question of whether the two might end up being merged…” (Usher, 7/18).

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