In a bid to boost global efforts to prevent future pandemics, Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday its pledge of support amounting to $50 million for the Pandemic Fund or the Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF), the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The announcement was made by Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan, who delivered a speech on behalf of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, during the foreign ministers’ session at the Group of 20 Summit in Bali.
The high-level FIF event was officially launched by the G20 Presidency of Indonesia, in partnership with the Pandemic Fund secretariat, on the sidelines of the G20 Joint Finance and Health Ministers’ Meeting.
The initiative for the Pandemic Fund- which came into being in 2020 as an output of Saudi Arabia’s presidency of G20- was welcomed as a key part of the solution to reduce risks from epidemics and pandemics and contribute to a healthier and safer world.
The Saudi presidency also launched an initiative to start discussing solutions to address issues and gaps in global pandemic preparedness and response procedures and the so-called access to COVID-19 tools accelerator in collaboration with international organizations
Speakers at the event of the launch of the Pandemic Fund lauded the Kingdom’s role in developing the initial idea during its presidency.
Officially established by FIF Governing Board at its inaugural meeting in September, the new FIF for pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response (PPR) will fund labs, disease surveillance, health workforce development, emergency communications and management, and community engagement initiatives as part of the assistance to developing countries in responding to and preventing future pandemics.
The support totaling $1.4 billion that Saudi Arabia provided along with other countries, institutions, and international non-profit organizations, aims to strengthen regional and global efforts to share epidemiological data, harmonize regulatory measures, and coordinate procurement of medical and non-medical countermeasures.