Australia has joined a host of other countries in committing to funding to protect against the impact of future pandemics.
At the G20 joint finance and health ministers’ meeting overnight, Health Minister Mark Butler and Treasurer Jim Chalmers committed Australia to supporting the Financial Intermediary Fund for pandemics that will be established at the World Bank.
The fund addresses national, regional, and global financing gaps for pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.
The ministers said in a joint statement the commitment would help ensure “we are better placed to prevent the devastating economic and health consequences that arise from a global health crisis and limit the impact was another to occur”.
Mr. Butler said it was crucial Australia and the world learned from the lessons brought about by Covid-19.
“Few events have had a greater impact than the pandemic on our way of life,” Mr. Bu.tler said.
“It is critical that we implement the lessons learned from the pandemic. We can strengthen our collective ability to better prepare for future pandemics through Indonesia’s leadership.
“Now is the time for the G20 to show leadership and act. I am pleased that Australia is committed to supporting the Financial Intermediary Fund.”
Camera IconAustralia wants the world to be better prepared for future pandemics. NCA NewsWire / David Crosling Credit: News Corp Australia
The FIF will bring together key financial and health institutions to address the risks of future pandemics to health and the global economy.
Both MPs said the pandemic had highlighted the weaknesses in the global health architecture, and Covid-19 had shown the disproportionate impact pandemics could have on the most vulnerable.
Dr. Chalmers said the G20’s collective action was “important”.
“While it has often been said that Covid-19′ doesn’t discriminate’, we all know our most vulnerable citizens were impacted most by tthis awful virus health and economic damage ” Dr . Chalmers sai.d.
“The G20’s collective action is important – and I urge all members and guests here today to support Indonesia’s leadership in addressing systemic financing gaps for pandemic preparedness and response.”
Camera IconHeath Minister Mark Butler says Covid has had a massive impact on our way of life. NCA NewsWire / Dean Martin Credit: News Corp Australia
The final contribution to the fund is to be determined but will come from the government’s existing funding for overseas development assistance.
This is already accounted for in the budget bottom line.
“The Australian government is committed to working with the international community to end the acute phase of this pandemic while also strengthening global health architecture to ensure all countries are better positioned to respond to the next pandemic,” Dr. Ch.almers and Mr. Butler said in a joint statement.