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.