Milestones :: Perspectives :: Research
A Global Deal for Our Pandemic Age
Report of the G20 High Level Independent Panel on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response
June 2021 :: 92 pages
High Level Summary [text bolding from original]
We are in an age of pandemics. COVID-19 has painfully reminded us of what SARS, Ebola,
MERS and H1N1 had made clear, and which scientists have repeatedly warned of: without greatly
strengthened proactive strategies, global health threats will emerge more often, spread more
rapidly, take more lives, disrupt more livelihoods, and impact the world more greatly than before.
Together with climate change, countering the existential threat of deadly and costly
pandemics must be the human security issue of our times. There is every likelihood that
the next pandemic will come within a decade — arising from a novel influenza strain, another
coronavirus, or one of several other dangerous pathogens. Its impact on human health and the
global economy could be even more profound than that of COVID-19.
The world is nowhere near the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Without urgent and concerted
actions and significant additional funding to accelerate global vaccination coverage, the emergence
of more variants of the virus is likely and will continue to pose a risk to every country. The solutions
for vaccinating the majority of the world’s population are available and can be implemented
within the next 12 months. More decisive political commitments and timely follow-through
will resolve this disastrous global crisis.
The world is also far from equipped to prevent or stop the next pandemic. Lessons from
COVID-19, on how the world failed to prevent the pandemic, why it has been prolonged at such
catastrophic cost, and how we can overcome the crisis if we now respond more forcefully, provide
important building blocks for the future. We must use this moment to take the bold steps needed
to avoid the next pandemic, and not allow exhaustion from current efforts to divert attention
from the very real risks ahead.
Plugging Four Major Gaps
Making the world safer requires stepped-up and sustained national, regional and global actions
and coordination, leveraging fully the private sector, to prevent outbreaks as well as to respond
much faster, more equitably and more effectively when a pandemic emerges.
We must plug four major gaps in pandemic prevention, preparedness and response:
Globally networked surveillance and research: to prevent and detect emerging infectious diseases
Resilient national systems: to strengthen a critical foundation for global pandemic preparedness
Supply of medical countermeasures and tools: to radically shorten the response time to a
pandemic and deliver equitable global access
Global governance: to ensure the system is tightly coordinated, properly funded and with clear
accountability for outcomes…
G20 High Level Independent Panel Releases Report on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response
July 9, 2021
The National Academy of Medicine and the Wellcome Trust serve as Administrative Secretariat for a G20 High Level Executive Panel that today released a report titled A Global Deal for Our Pandemic Age. NAM President Victor J. Dzau served as advisor to the panel, whose report finds that “the world remains very poorly equipped to prevent or contain future epidemics or pandemics.” The report calls for an increase in international financing of at least $75 billion over the next five years to close gaps in pandemic prevention and preparedness, a recommendation that would at least double current spending levels. Infectious disease surveillance, resilience of national health systems, global capacity to supply and deliver vaccines and other medical countermeasures, and global governance are four areas that need the most focus, the Panel notes.
“COVID-19 has made the global nature of our health and well-being abundantly clear,” said Victor Dzau. “It is our obligation to prepare for future pandemics with a global mindset. This report makes major requests of many countries, but we know that the financial impact of a future pandemic would be much greater than the investments the Panel has identified. We must learn from COVID-19 and be ready for the next pandemic when it arrives, and that begins with appropriate funding for both prevention and preparedness.”
The report also identifies additional areas for international action, including:
A fundamental shift toward greater multilateral financing for global health security, including a reformed and strengthened World Health Organization;
Making global public goods, especially for pandemic security and climate action, part of the core mandate of the International Financial Institutions;
Establish a Global Health Threats Fund, mobilizing $10 billion per year in additional financing to provide strong and agile support for efforts to close gaps in global preparedness; and
Strengthen global governance for pandemic security through a new Global Health Threats Board.