US Treasury head urges fund to reduce vulnerabilities to future pandemics

Estimated $75B needed over next 5 years, says Janet Yellen, adding that this is far less than economic cost of current pandemic.

US Treasury head urges fund to reduce vulnerabilities to future pandemics

The US Treasury secretary on Thursday called for the development of a financial intermediary fund hosted at the World Bank to reduce global vulnerabilities to future pandemics.

The fund would make immediate investments to prevent and prepare for future health crises and would be used to incentivize countries to prevent and prepare for the next crisis, Janet Yellen said in remarks at a G20 seminar on strengthening global health architecture in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The fund will also be a new financing tool to flexibly channel and incentivize funding for investments in pandemic preparedness at the national, regional, and global levels through existing health and financial institutions, she said.

Yellen said an estimated $75 billion is needed over the next five years to finance it, but stressed "this is far less than the economic cost of the current pandemic."

"While the human and economic trauma of the pandemic is fresh in our minds, we have a political window to act to address the deficiencies in our global health architecture, made all too apparent by the current crisis," she added.

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